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Demand for J&K minister's scalp grows as stepson booked for fraud in exam

Monday, 6 January 2014 - 10:34am IST | Place: Srinagar | Agency: dna

Clamor is growing for the resignation of senior Congress leader and J&K minister for public enterprise Peerzada Mohommad Sayeed after the crime branch registered a criminal case against his stepson Imam Subhan for passing the class X exam allegedly through fraud and unfair means.

Peerzada, former state Congress president who represents Kokarnag constituency in the 89-member Legislative Assembly, was school education minister when the alleged fraud was committed in 2009.  

“Yes, we have registered a case against him (Peerzada’s son) and three officials of the J&K State Board of School Education,” said Javid Mujtaba Geelani, inspector general of police, crime branch
The examgate surfaced in 2012 when the government received complaints of unfair means and refereed the case to the Crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police asking it to complete the inquiry within seven days.

Crime Branch report purportedly had indicted the officials of state Board of School Education (Bose) for helping former education minister’s stepson to allegedly cheat in class X examination in 2009. Reports said two different hand writings were allegedly found on the answer sheets of the minister’s son.

Imam Subhan was born to Dr Tabassum from her first marriage to a dreaded Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front commander Parvez Ahmad alias Parvez Billa who was killed by rival militant group in early 90s. Imam has been living with Tabassum and his stepfather Peerzada since his mother’s second marriage.

The scandal had created a furore in Jammu and Kashmir and under pressure Peerzada tendered his resignation but instead of submitting the letter to Omar Abdullah he dashed it to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Congress, however, threw its weight behind Peerzada forcing Omar to eat a humble pie and retain Peerzada in the cabinet minus education portfolio.

The criminal case against Peerzada’s son has spurred the fresh demands for the resignation of the minister. 

“Peerzada should step down immediately. And if he does not resign, Omar Abdullah must show some seriousness to throw him out,” said Sheikh Abdul Rasheed aka Engineer Rasheed, independent MLA from Langate and Awami Ittihaad Party president.

Peerzada, however, was not available for comments.

Congress played down the matter saying the law will take its own course.

“Law is working and process is going on. After taking this logical end who knows (whether) he will be exonerated or punished,” said Abdul Gani Vakil, senior Congress leader and former J&K minister.

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