SRINAGAR: The JK police’s crime branch has arrested former chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE) Sheikh Bashir for his alleged involvement in the infamous Elementary Teacher Training (ETT) Institutes scam.
Inspector General of crime branch Muneer Khan told Kashmir Reader that Bashir was arrested on Monday by a police team from Kashmir. An official, on condition of anonymity, said that more arrests are likely to be made in the coming days.
The cases have been registered for offences of corruption (under 5(2) PC Act) as well as RPC sections of 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery), 471 (counterfeit seal). “The investigation pertains to 494 ETT colleges in Jammu and around 70 such institutes in Kashmir and we are investigating the batch-wise details from 2003,” Muneer Khan said. A preliminary inquiry into the scam conducted by BOSE had found that authorities had granted affiliation to colleges in violation of norms.
Earlier, crime branch Jammu had made three arrests: Sudershan Kumar Mahajan and Manish Suri, owners of two ETT colleges, as well as former secretary BOSE, Bashir Ahmad Dar for their alleged involvement in the scam. Dar had been arrested before when he was trying to flee from Jammu to Srinagar. He was released after that, but now has been re-arrested 10 days ago.
On his part, Sheikh Bashir had earlier been in the news for his alleged involvement in an unfair means case for helping the then-Education Minister Pirzada Muhammad Sayeed’s foster son to pass the 10th class examination in 2009.
An official said that in the ETT scam, money worth hundreds of crores was taken from students to provide them fake degrees from fraud institutions. The case came to fore after a PIL was filed in the High Court. The court took cognisance and asked the crime branch to investigate. In response, the police lodged separate cases in Jammu as well as in Kashmir.
(Inputs from agencies)