Farooq Abdullah rejects allegations of involvement in multi-crore JKCA scam

Farooq Abdullah is the president of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association AFP

New Delhi/Jammu: March 12, 2012

Indian Minister Farooq Abdullah on Monday rejected as unfortunate allegations of his involvement in the multi-crore Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) scam, an issue which also rocked the state Assembly.

“I have not taken a penny in any form from JKCA. There is no question of any money being bungled. The tarnishing of my image is unfortunate,” Farooq, who heads the JKCA, told reporters in Delhi, breaking his silence on the allegations that there was bungling of funds received by the state cricket body from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The assertion by Farooq, who heads the JKCA, came on a day when opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) raised the scam issue in the state Assembly demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into alleged bungling of funds and gave a notice for an adjournment motion to enable an immediate discussion.

The notice was however rejected by Assembly Speaker Mohmmad Akbar Lone amid pandemonium with PDP members raising anti-government slogans following up with a walkout.

J and K Police on Saturday registered a case against two former officials of JKCA following allegations of misappropriation of funds, received by the body from the BCCI.

The case was registered against the then treasurer Ehsan Mirza and then General Secretary Mohammad Saleem Khan based on the complaint lodged by JKCA chairman Mohammad Aslam Goni.

After PDP members staged a walkout from the Assembly, its leader Mehbooba Mufti demanded that an FIR be lodged against Farooq.

“We demand a CBI probe in multi-crore scam in JKCA headed by Dr Farooq Abdullah as was done in case of Suresh Kalmadi. An FIR should be lodged against him”, Mehbooba told reporters outside the Assembly complex in Jammu.

Mehbooba, who along with other members of PDP were sitting on stairs leading to Assembly complex and raising anti-government slogans, said “we want Centre to take cognizance of the multi-crore scam invovling Farooq and take same measures as they did to their Chief Ministers and Ministers in connection with allegations against them”.

Reacting to Mehbooba’s allegations against him, Farooq said she should check facts before making charges.

“I am too clean for Mehbooba Mufti to rub dirt on me,” he said, adding, “law will take its own course.” The Indian Minister reiterated there was no embezzlement of any funds.

As Assembly proceedings began this morning, PDP legislators led by Mehbooba, who is also Leader of Opposition, raised the issue of alleged financial bungling in JKCA.

Javaid Mir and A R Veeri sought adjournment of the Business of the question hour and holding of a debate.

Speaker Lone said he has rejected the adjournment notice as the issue raised in it has already come up in the House.

The members stood up from their benches and resorted to sloganeering against the state government.

Even as the question hour continued amid noisy scenes, there was no let up in slogan shouting by PDP members.

Mehbooba alleged that it was Farooq as President of JKCA who wrote to Bank to facilitate transitions. “He cannot make someone scape-goat and allow himself to go scot-free,” she said.

However, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minsiter Ali Mohmmad Sagar told reporters that PDP wants to rake up the issue for political gains.

“When an FIR has been lodged on the direction of Dr Abdullah himself, how is that they reach to conclusions”, he said, asking PDP how it has reached the conclusion to allege there was a “Rs 50 Crore embezzlement.”

The embezzlement of several crores of rupees was detected in JKCA funds a few days ago, following which the then treasurer Ehsan Mirza and former general secretary and current Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Saleem Khan were sacked from the JKCA.

In a letter to JKCA chairman Mohammad Aslam Goni on Saturday, the Khanyar branch manager of JK Bank wrote that an amount of Rs 1.90 crore has been credited to the account of Mirza based on the authority letter allegedly issued by the JKCA President.

Farooq said this amount was released following a resolution passed by JKCA to allow work of the association to go on. (PTI)