NC worker’s death exposes political corruption in J&K
From Khajuria S Kant in Jammu
Custodial death of National Conference (NC) leader who was very close to Chief Minister has exposed the level of corruption in Jammu & Kashmir state.
The deceased sixty one-year-old Syed Mohammad Yousuf, an NC worker from south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, died allegedly in police custody after two fellow party workers accused him of taking Rs 1.18 crore from them for getting them berths in the Legislative Council. The deceased who was very close to the Abdullah’s family and known as National Conference’s kingmaker, allegedly died in custody of the JK police’s Crime Branch Srinagar on September 30 night.
The revelation made by Abdul Salam Reshi, one of the persons who paid Syed Mohammad Yousaf money, said he indeed paid him to buy a Legislative Council seat. In an interview to a news channel, he made serious allegations against Union Cabinet Minister Farooq Abdullah and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Reshi alleged that he was present at Omar’s House on the day Yousaf died and he is sure that Yousaf was interrogated at CM’s house that led to his heart attack.
Explaining the whole story, Reshi said Syed Mohammad Yousaf called him in the month of January and asked him to pay Rs 50 lakh if he wanted to get a berth in the Legislative Council. The rate was finally decided at Rs 40 lakh for Reshi to become the member of the Legislative Council. The deal he alleged was done in consultation with Farooq Abdullah who was on the phone when Syed Mohammad Yousaf was finalising the rate and added that when his name didn’t appear in the list of elected Legislative Councilors, he asked for return of his money. “After February, for this, I met the Chief Minister myself. I got the money back after 2 or 3 days,” said Reshi.
On that fateful day he and the other person, Yousaf Bhat from Ganderbal who paid 85 lakh for the Legislative Council seat, went to Omar and complained asking for the return of the money paid. Reshi said Omar asked Syed Mohammad Yousuf that when was he going to pay the rest of the amount to Bhat. “Syed Mohammad Yousuf said that he has to discuss with Farooq Abdullah, after which Omar told that he will hand him over to Crime Branch. On this Syed Mohammad Yousuf said he would expose everything, which made Omar angry and he called the Crime Branch,” he alleged. Reshi further alleged that he and Yousaf Bhat were taken away by Crime Branch and later they brought Syed Mohammad Yousuf, who was in bad condition. “He vomited in jeep and was in bad shape”, he added.
Death of an accused at Chief Minister’s residence, whether natural or by torture, is undoubtedly unprecedented. But, should the politicians and representatives of other institutions restrict their concern to only the investigation of ‘torture killing” and punishment to the “killers”?
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti reiterated her demand for the resignation of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Union Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah and Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam. Reacting to the death of Yousuf and corruption in politics BJP state chief spokesperson Dr Jitendra Singh said the issue is a very serious matter of “cash for MLC seat.” He demanded a CBI inquiry into the whole episode to ensure free fair conclusive results. Congress did not show any enthusiasm in sharing the plight of its besieged ruling ally and restricted its role to formality. Obviously, the Congress leadership is not comfortable with what is happening in the backyard of its ruling partner.