A member of the Board for scheduled tribes (Gujjar and Bakerwal) is facing a series of police cases for looting more than 100 people in north Kashmir by asking people to avail a scheme by depositing their money in his personal account, police sources said.

Muneer Ahmad Kataria, 35 from Salamabad Uri, was receiving money from people for giving them livestock in the shape of sheep and cows on subsidized rates from animal husbandry department.

The “beneficiaries” alleged that he had called some village representatives from Sopore and Baramulla to DC office to tell them about the scheme and convinced them to contribute the money so that he could provide them with the livestock at a much lesser price.

Ghulam Hassan of Dardpora Zaloora is one of the beneficiaries. “He called some people of ST to DC office and said he is a board member and can help people by giving them sheep and cows on subsidized rates,” Hassan said. “He gave livestock to 42 units. A unit was a cow or nine sheep and it would cost Rs 21,000, per unit. He supplied cattle worth Rs 9,10,000.”

As he supplied the livestock to some unit, the people felt encouraged to pay money. At one point in time, the supply of livestock stopped.

“He owes us Rs 19,50,000. He gave us cheques from HDFC Bank worth Rs 17,64,000 that bounced,” Hassan said. “Later, he also gave us the affidavit regarding it. Then we registered a case in police station Bomai. He was arrested for around two months after which he got bail.”

Hassan said, in reaction, the accused registered a counter case against the then SP Sopore, a PDP activist and Hassan. “He defamed us on the social media but couldn’t find any evidence against us,” Hassan said.

Khazir Mohammad Mir, a resident of Tujjar had the same story. “After he ensured some unit to evolve, the people felt encouraged in giving money,” Khazir said. “We handed over the money to Ghulam Hassan who was appointed as block secretary by district president PDP and he transferred the money into Kataria’s account but he was cheated too.”

Khazir said the people collected Rs 22,000 per head and some people raised loans. “He has a strong political influence due to which we were not able to confront him,” Khazir said. “We could somehow manage to register police cases.”

The cheating has triggered a series of FIRs. These include FIR 44/2018 dated 17/03/2018 U/S 420 at Police Post Warpora for the amount cheated Rs 5,75000; FIR 28/2018 dated 17/4/2018 U/S 420, 506 RPC at P/S Tarzo for Rs 7 lakhs; FIR 19/2018 dated 22/2/2018 U/S 420, 506 RPC at PS Bomai for (19, 15,000) and FIR 49/2018 dated 4/5/2018 U/S 420, 506 RPC at P/S Dangiwach for Rs 2,20000. Besides, there is another FIR registered against the accused with P/S Kralhud in Srinagar.

Off late, however, the accused has taken to social media accusing police of serious misconduct. “Court has already ordered an enquiry which is to be conducted by DIG North Kashmir,” local news gathering agency CNS quoted police sources say. “Enquiry is going on but he is using social media to defame police.”

Some of the complainants have gone to the court again, this time for dishonouring the bank cheques. Informed sources said in three complaints, a court in Baramulla has taken cognizance and issued non-bailable warrants. One cheque involves nine lakhs and another Rs 31.40 lakh.


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