The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mufti axes tainted mandarin

Srinagar, Dec. 10: The Jammu and Kashmir government suspended a high profile bureaucrat and allowed his prosecution.

Lakes and Waterways Development Authority vice-chairman Khursheed Naqeeb is said to be close to former chief minister Farooq Abdullah. His suspension is the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government’s first step to enforce its policy of accountability in administration.

The action was taken after the anti-corruption department established a prima facie case of corruption and gross misuse of authority against Naqeeb. M.R.D. Kundangar, director, research, and another officer, too, were suspended over the multi-crore scam in buying harvesters.

Despite the state vigilance organisation’s requests to prosecute Naqeeb, former chief secretary Ashok Jaitley reportedly sat on the file for a year.

The state has also ordered an inquiry into Naqeeb’s misappropriation of state exchequer funds when he was the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation chief.

A Jammu and Kashmir High Court order to “look into the charges” against him prompted the state inquiries. The report has to be submitted within four weeks.

Naqeeb shot up the career graph during Farooq’s reign, becoming the development authority chairman from a manager in a government-run hotel here.

His proximity to Farooq made him highly controversial in the state administration.

Naqeeb was the man who supervised the construction of Farooq’s dream Royal Spring Golf Course in the foothills of Zabarwan hills. It cost the cash-strapped government Rs 52 crore.

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