A major embezzlement in Cooperatives Department by Managing Director of Baramulla Central Cooperative Bank and other employees is being probed by the State’s Crime Branch, but surprisingly the officer is still holding the chair even the minister concerned has said that the officer is trying to “scuttle” the enquiry. Bashir Ahmad Lone, MD, Central Cooperative Bank Baramulla and other employees of other branches have embezzled over 11 crores meant for the debt relief and assistance for revival of weak banks. Lone, in league with other bank employees, created fictitious accounts to withdraw the money. Following complaints, the government under Order No. 25-B&F of 2015, dated 23/07/2015 ordered enquiry by forming a two-member committee of Showkat Hussain, deputy registrar cooperative societies, Kupwara, and M A Yatoo, In charge deputy registrar, Anantnag. The documents of inquiry and other embezzlement statement are in possession of KNS. The order which was signed by registrar Cooperative Societies Basharat Saleem had asked the team to furnish the report within ten days. However, due to his engagement, Hussain was dropped from the team under Order No. 26-B&F of 2015, dated 14/08/2015 and Reyaz Ahmad, joint registrar cooperatives societies, was appointed in his place to complete the enquiry within 12 days. Later, the department received more complaints of misuse and embezzlement from five branches of the bank, including Magam, Palhalan, Kupwara, Trehgam, and Tangmarg, which forced the department to enquire it through crime branch. Consequently, the department under Order No. RCS/B&F/BCCB-20 371-77 requested the Inspector General, Crime Branch, Kashmir, to conduct thorough inquiry into the embezzlement. Minister for State Cooperatives Chering Dorjey also remarked that the officials alleged of embezzlement and misuses were trying to scuttle the inquiry. “Under the garb of by-laws of the bank, the Managing Director Central Cooperatives Bank, Bashir Ahmad Lone, is trying to scuttle any enquiry which is ordered by the department,” Dorjey has said. “The best course, therefore, would be to refer all the cases of embezzlement to the Crime Branch and ask them to conduct thorough enquiry in shortest possible time and take appropriate steps as warranted by the law,” the minister has said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch