Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fate of Education Minister to be decided in 24 hours

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said the fate of Education Minister Peerzada Mohammed Sayeed, whose foster son's Class 10 exam was allegedly fudged, would be decided in the next 24 hours.

Talking to reporters here, Omar said the findings of the Crime Branch have been discussed with his alliance partner Congress.

"We will decide action in 24-36 hours. The minister is not accused of helping his son," Omar said but added the probe had not yet established at whose behest the tampering of three answersheets had been done.

The Chief Minister said he was not lenient with anyone.

"I am just following the natural course of justice that his guilt has to be established. I can't go on presumptions. The guilt must be established. In this case, the minister happens to be the Education Minister also. Therefore, a thorough probe is a must," he said.

The Crime Branch had concluded there were some irregularities in the anwser sheets of Sayeed's foster son's Class 10 exam, which he passed, after it found two hand writings on them.

The Crime Branch, which probed the answer-paper scandal in its report submitted to the government today, also identified three officials allegedly involved in this.

The report said there were two hand writings on three answer sheets of the Class 10 exam taken by the student, official sources said here. Sayeed is a Congress nominee in the state cabinet.

The sources said the three identified officials belonged to the examination division of the J and K Board of Secondary Education.

Imam Sauban, Peerzada Sayeed's son, had passed his class 10 exam in 2009 allegedly with the help from Board of School Education officials.

As the controversy had broken out, the Chief Minister had announced an inquiry by the Crime Branch which questioned the Board officials.

The answer sheets of the candidate were sent to General Examiner of Questioned Documents who opined that the three answer sheets had two different handwritings, they said.

After the probe was announced, Sayeed had welcomed the decision and he said the issue has been raked up to malign his image.

Sayeed had to resign earlier also because of allegations of corruption while he was in Ghulam Nabi Azad's government in the state.

He had quit in January 2008 after being accused of demanding and accepting illegal gratification of Rs 40,000 from an independent MLA Shoaib Lone. 

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