ACB Probes Involvement of Former Deputy Director, 49 Others for Fraud in JK


SRINAGAR: The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered a case against the former Deputy Director of the Horticulture (Planning & Marketing) Department, Kashmir, and the then Area Marketing Officer of Sopore, along with 48 other individuals, for the illegal and fraudulent allotment of shop sites at the Fruit and Vegetable Mandi in Nowpora, Sopore.

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According to a statement , a Joint Surprise Check (JSC) by the ACB revealed large-scale irregularities in the allotment process. The investigation uncovered that the Area Marketing Officer, in collusion with members of the Fruit Mandi Union, allotted shops arbitrarily, ignoring legitimate applicants who had applied decades earlier.

The probe found that the Department of Horticulture (Planning & Marketing) had invited applications for 700 shop sites in 2001. Despite receiving 595 applications, the draw of lots was bypassed, and allotments were made without following proper procedures. The Area Marketing Officer, Mohammad Ashraf Damnoo, allegedly engaged in forgery to benefit preferred individuals, including his own relatives. As a result, 48 individuals were listed as beneficiaries years after the official cut-off date, at outdated premium rates, causing significant financial loss to the state.

Further investigation revealed that the allotments were made without collecting the full premium amount and in violation of the established terms and conditions. The outstanding amount from the allottees as of June 2021 was Rs 1,21,88,000.

The ACB has filed a case under FIR number 06/2024 at P/S ACB Baramulla. Searches conducted at the residences of the accused led to the recovery of incriminating documents. The investigation is ongoing—(KNO).


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