Azad announces CBI probe in J

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Srinagar, Feb 1 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today announced that a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe would be sought into alleged loot of green gold in Doda district in 1980-1990s.

''I was ready to have the CBI inquiry into the alleged wanton exploitation of forest wealth in Doda district in late 80's and early 90's,'' Mr Azad said during inspection of ongoing development projects here.

However, he said, the irregularities probed by the Kundal Commission would not be referred to the central agency.

Mr Azad said attempts to drag his name in the forest scandal would not dilute his determination to fight corruption in the Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to a media report, Mr Azad said the report was one sided and highlighted the allegations made by the two ''tainted officers'' of the forest department whose misdeeds had been established by the Kundal Commission.

The commission has recommended the dismissal from service of both the officers, he added.

He said the elements who had been proceeded against for corrupt practices since he become Chief Minister had ganged up and were trying to drag his person into controversies in an attempt to dilute his resolve against corruption.

Nothing would dissuade him from his agenda to eradicate the meance of corruption from the state, he said.

Mr Azad said before filing the report, the news channel ought to have ascertained the record of the two officers whose case it as unwittingly pushing forward.

Without naming them, he said, one of the two officers, had dual citizenship and travelled on four assumed names from six residential adddresses, four of which were found to be fake.

The Chief Minister said the officer travelled 23 times between USA and India and stayed in US for about 14 years.

He said after the expiry of his Indian passport, he held the post of Managing Director of State Forest Corporation despite being a US citizen. The officer has withdrawn salary for the period he was in US, the Chief Minister said.

He said the second officer's service book showed that he had joined the government service at the age of just 14 years at very junior level.

About eight inquires had been instituted against him for wrong conduct, he said.

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