Terming the re-election of Dr Farooq Abdullah as president of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) as another example of politico-criminal nexus in the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday demanded prosecution of the National Conference leader and others accused in the infamous cricket scandal.
In a statement senior party leader and former finance minister Tariq Hameed Karra said the hush-hush manner in which Dr Farooq reinstalled himself as the president of JKCA is an assault on the interests of youth who have suffered immensely as a result of the NC greediness and lust for power. He said the NC leader who only few days ago expressed his reluctance to stand again for the JKCA election but changed the plan after sensing his defeat in the parliamentary elections. “It was significant that Dr Farooq conducted the unscheduled elections of the JKCA in unholy haste to beat the May 16 deadline for his party’s widely anticipated debacle in the Lok Sabha elections,” Karra said.
Referring to the high profile JKCA Cricket Scam, Karra said documentary evidences substantiate that over Rs 50 crore were withdrawn from accounts of the JKCA with Dr Farooq’s consent and even the police investigation has reportedly established his involvement in the multi-crore fraud. He said the money received from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the promotion of Cricket in the state was deposited in the bank account which didn’t belong to the association and siphoned off later. “The amount was withdrawn from the bank on the authority letter of Dr Farooq which was duly signed by him,” said Karra. He said the reelection of Dr Farooq is aimed at finally hushing up the case, an ample evidence of which is provided by the fact that those sidelined on charges of embezzlement have now been brought back into important positions in the association.
He said parallel to the official account; the association had opened many bogus accounts in J&K Bank through which shady transitions would take place which Dr Farooq was fully aware of. He said the money which should have found its utilization on promotion of cricket in the sports starved state was doled out to blue eyed persons of the NC leader. Karra said Dr Farooq will continue to remain an accused in the case till he is acquitted by a court but the NC led government headed by his son has ensured that police is not allowed to launch prosecution even after the investigation has established his involvement.
Karra said the government can’t hide facts about the wrong doings of Dr Farooq in the association. He said police have established his involvement in the fraud and he can’t be treated differently for serving a huge blow on the back of promising cricketers. “If Suresh Kalmadi had to face law how could Dr Abdullah escape it and then brazenly extend his tenure while he should have been answering question in a court.” he added.
Karra said by treating institutions as their family fiefdoms the NC leadership has damaged every institution in the state which has added to disillusionment of people with the system. Citing examples of decay of the institutions like Muslim Auqaf Trust, under the NC’s first family Karra said the loot resorted to by them has left these institutions bankrupt and converted them into private endowments. “JKCA under Dr Abdullah has met the same fate” added Karra.