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JK bank case: I-T department initiates action, conducts raids

Press Trust of India

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SRINAGAR: Within days of the Anti Corruption Bureau’s action against the Jammu and Kashmir Bank, the Income-Tax Department on Tuesday initiated probe into the alleged irregularities and conducted searches at 10 premises on a business firm of a senior Srinagar Municipal Corporation functionary, officials said.

Tax sleuths raided eight premises in Jammu and Kashmir’s capital Srinagar and one each in Delhi and Bengaluru of the Kehwah group, promoted by Sheikh Imran, the Deputy Mayor of the Corporation.

In the Kashmir Valley, the searches are being conducted in the Bohri Kadal area of downtown Srinagar and seven other nearby locations, they said, adding that action is linked to the recently unearthed alleged irregularities in the bank’s affairs and the raids conducted by the state anti-corruption bureau (ACB).

 

They alleged that the Kehwah group, with Imran as its chairman, is facing default proceedings after 23 of its accounts with the J&K Bank were declared non-performing assets with dues of over about ₹120 crore.

The I-T Department suspects wrongdoings and alleged financial irregularities and hence raids are being conducted to obtain further leads, evidence and documents, the officials said.

The action comes in the backdrop of Parvez Ahmed, the bank’s chairman, being removed after charges of alleged involvement in corruption, nepotism and favouritism were reported against him. After his removal, Mr. Ahmed in a Twitter post said he has absolutely no regret over his work and that he did his job “most diligently, honestly and in the best interest of the institution“.

Referring to the ACB proceedings against Mr. Ahmed, a government official said earlier this week on the condition of anonymity that the investigation into alleged backdoor appointments and irregularities is intended to cleanse the system at the bank. Loans worth hundreds of crores were allegedly allotted without formalities in violation of Standard Operating Procedures or guidelines to select recommendees of two politicians, the official had said.

The State Government holds 59 per cent stake in the J&K Bank.


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9 army soldiers injured in Pulwama IED blast

Global News Service

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Srinagar, June 17: At least nine army men were injured in an IED blast at Aarihal village in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Monday evening.
A police official said that around 06:00 pm militants triggered an IED planted on road side at Aarihal when the vehicle of 44 RR was crossing the area, causing injuries to at least nine soldiers.

Soon after the blast, militants fired upon the vehicle, the official said, adding that forces also returned the fire. “Initial reports reveal that the vehicle suffered extensive damage,” the official added.

The injured army men, according to the official, were immediately rushed to Army’s 92 base hospital in Srinagar. Three among the injured soldiers are stated to be serious, sources said.

 

Local residents of the area said that they heard a loud sound of the blast followed by firing which triggered panic in the area.

Soon after the incident, additional reinforcement of army, police and SOG was rushed to the spot and launched a massive search operation to nab the attackers.

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Militant killed in Achabal gunfight

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Srinagar: A militant was killed on Monday in a gunfight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, police said.

Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and special operations group (SOG) of state police personnel surrounded the Bidoora village in Achabal area following information about the presence of militants.

“Hiding militants opened fire just as the cordon around them was being tightened. A militant was killed.Exact identities and group affiliation of the slain militants is being ascertained,” a police officer said.

 

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Forget about numbers, every word you say is valuable to us: PM to opposition

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New Delhi:At the start of the first budget session of NDA 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi struck a conciliatory note with the opposition asking the non-NDA players to shun their concern about numbers and trust that the opposition word is valuable for the government.
“A strong and active opposition is the sine qua non of a healthy democracy. I urge the opposition leaders to forget their concern about numbers. Every word the opposition says, every sentiment the opposition expresses is valuable to us. When we sit in MP’s chair, we no longer represent camps. I hope we can work neutrally for national good,” Modi said in his customary start of the session address.
He said the current session would present an occasion for everyone to know the new members.
“When the new members come new hopes and new dreams also come. Indian democracy’s strength is getting revealed in every election. The highest-ever women representation and enhanced women voting marked the just-concluded election. After many decades people elected a government with full majority and with higher mandate,” the PM said seeking opposition support in realising people’s dreams.
He said the experience in the past five years had been that whenever Parliament had functioned in a healthy environment many decisions of national well-being had been taken.
“Based on this experience I hope all parties will raise the bar for debates, will help take people-friendly decisions and work with us to realise people’s aspirations,” Modi said.
Referring to his “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas slogan”, the PM said the government would work towards its pledge.
“In democracy a strong and active opposition is essential and I hope the opposition leaders will cast away the concerns of numbers. For us their words and sentiments are valuable…I hope instead of getting divided into camps we will work neutrally to further the dignity of the House and national good,” the PM said.
He said he was hopeful that Parliament’s productivity would improve and everyone would see greater collective concern for national issues.
“I urge you all MPs to lift the quality of the debate though sometimes there’s no relation between creative debate and TRPs. Credible criticism of the government is welcome,” he said.
The PM has called a meeting of political parties leaders on Wednesday to discuss ‘one nation one election’ and a day later he will host a dinner for all MPs.
The Lok Sabha on Monday will witness oath-taking by new MPs. Pro tem speaker Virendra Kumar will administer the oath.

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