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Kashmir government promises action against ‘corrupt’ minister


Jammu : The Jammu and Kashmir government will dismiss the minister who allegedly took a bribe from an independent legislator if the charges were found to be true, Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig said here Monday.

The government will take “immediate action” against the minister after the concerned legislator divulges his name and the circumstances in which he had paid the graft, Baig told reporters outside the legislative assembly complex in the winter capital.

Earlier, the lower house of the assembly was adjourned for half an hour following pandemonium when opposition members demanded the name of the “corrupt” minister be made public. Neither Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad nor his senior ministers were present in the house to reply to the opposition demands.

Independent lawmaker Shoaib Lone had created an uproar in the house Friday when he said he had to pay a bribe of Rs.40,000 to a minister to get something done. He had said he would divulge the name of the minister to the chief minister.

“The MLA (Lone) must tell the name of the minister either to (the) chief minister or disclose it in the assembly and if his allegations are found correct the government will dismiss the minister,” Baig said.

“He should have given notice to speaker and the minister concerned 24 hours before making an allegation against any person holding public office,” Baig told the house, when it resumed business Monday afternoon.

Lone in his Friday statement had also alleged that there was a “political conspiracy” behind the murder of his father Ghulam Nabi Lone, who was education minister during the regime of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The opposition members supported Lone’s demand for a CBI enquiry into the murder.

Members of the National Conference, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Jammu State Morcha created uproar in the house over Lone’s allegation.

Baig assured the house that the Kashmir government was willing to order a CBI probe into Lone’s assassination.

His colleague and Agriculture Minister Abdul Aziz Zargar said this debate should end now as “we are for the CBI probe” into the murder.

The senior Lone was assassinated in his official residence in Tulsi Bagh in Srinagar Oct 18, 2005.

An inquiry was conducted by the then divisional commissioner Kashmir, B.B. Vyas, who in his report pointed out that there was a “security lapse” when militants barged into minister’s residence and shot him dead.