Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Toothless SVO

Let us be frank - the State Vigilance Organization (SVO) is a disgrace

Delayed Probe: Half of tainted officers retire

Sanjeev Pargal (Daily Excelsior)

Jammu: Strange it may sound that close to half of the Government officers, booked by the State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) and Crime Branch across the State, have retired or passed away during investigations while other half, barring very few, have managed to get promotions.

Data of the Government officers against whom FIRs have been registered in the Vigilance Organisation and Crime Branch wings at both Jammu and Kashmir revealed that out of 103 officers booked by the two premier investigating agencies of the State, 42 have retired while one of them has died during prolonged investigations and trial of the case.

Only three of them were under suspension while the rest have got back their posts and have even been promoted.

Out of 70 officers being investigated by the SVO, 28 have retired and one of them has died while 23 officers are being investigated by the Crime Branch and 14 of them have superannuated.

Thirty four officers have been booked by the Vigilance Organisation’s, Jammu wing. Among them 14 have retired during investigations, one of them has died and only one has been placed under suspension by the Government. Remaining 18 have either managed to retain their posts or even got promotions.

Similarly, Kashmir wing of the Vigilance Organisation has registered cases against 36 Government officers, of whom, 14 have superannuated. Only two of them were currently under suspension.

Quite significant is the data of Crime Branch, Srinagar, which has registered cases against 14 Government officers. As many as 10 of them have retired from services during investigations while four others have been holding posts as none of them was under suspension.

Crime Branch, Jammu has booked nine Government officers and four of them have retired.

All four Executive Engineers booked by the SVO under FIR No. 25/2006 have retired. They include Abdul Hamid Sheikh, PK Samnotra, SP Pandoh and KK Arora. Out of three Engineers being investigated by the Vigilance under FIR No. 2/2007, Hari Krishan Koul, SE has superannuated.

In FIR No. 63/2003 registered with Crime Branch, Srinagar against 11 officers for fraudulent appointment of daily wagers and helpers in Rural Development Department, Kashmir, nine have since retired from the Government services while two of them were holding posts of BDO and Additional Secretary.

Gopal Dass, an Assistant Director of CAPD booked in FIR No. 14/2006, has died during investigations while SKS Ulfat, AEE (FIR 48/1994), Syed Muzaffar H Shah, SE (FIR No. 23/2006), Yoginder Saproo, X-En (FIR 30/2006), D K Sharma, X-En (FIR 3/2007), B D Khajuria, X-En (FIR 23/2007), Janak Singh, Tehsildar (FIR 4/2008), Mushtaq Ahmed Dar, Chief Engineer (FIR 12/2008), Narinder Singh, AD CAPD (FIR 1/2009) and Som Raj Majotra, Deputy Director, Accounts and Treasuries (FIR 5/2009) have since retired.

Abdul Aziz Kashmiri, Badar Mohidin, Parvaz Ahmad Naqash, Mohammad Sultan Sheikh, Mangat Singh, Abdul Karim Dagga and Ghulam Nabi Gami are other Executive Engineers, who have retired during investigations of the case.

As reported by the Excelsior earlier, an IAS officer booked by the SVO under FIR No. 8/2009 has been posted as a Commissioner/Secretary while another officer, who was AC Revenue and booked in the same FIR has been posted as Special Assistant to a Cabinet Minister. Another officer in the same FIR has been posted as Vice Chairman, Srinagar Development Authority while yet another officer has been appointed as a PSC member.

TR Bhagat, an Executive Engineer booked under FIR No. 14/2008 by the SVO for making purchases on exhorbitant rates, has also been promoted as Superintending Engineer while TR Salgotra, X-En R&B PMGSY, Rajouri being investigated under FIR 4/2009 for fraudulent allotments too has been elevated as SE. Javid Ahmed, AE PHE Ramban, booked under FIR 5/2008 for Disproportionate Assets has been promoted as AEE. Fayaz Hussain, ACD Srinagar when booked by the SVO in FIR No. 19/2003 for fraudulent drawal of money has since been promoted as Additional Secretary. Abdul Hamid Shawal, then X-En, PDD Bijbehara, Anantnag when booked by the SVO in FIR No. 34/2006 for possession of Disproportionate Assets has also been promoted as SE.

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