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ACB unearths a ‘Biryani Scam’; ex-football officials conned $54,000

The Jammu and Kashmir Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has uncovered a $54,000 ‘Biryani’ scam involving former Jammu Kashmir Football Association (JFKA) office bearers. The Jammu and Kashmir Anti-Corruption Bureau has filed an FIR against JKFA officials for stealing approximately $57,000 from the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council (JKSC).

According to the ACB’s preliminary investigation, funds sanctioned by the government of India through JKSC to organize tournaments such as Khelo India and the Mufti Memorial Gold Cup were not properly utilised. Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat of Sopore filed a complaint alleging that funds allotted by JKSC and other government and semi-government agencies for conducting football activities across J&K were misappropriated.

Biryani for football players’
During the investigation, it was discovered that members of the J&K Football Association paid $54,000 to Mughal Darbar, Polo View Srinagar (a well-known restaurant in Srinagar) for the purchase of biryani for the teams.  However, no such refreshment has ever been provided to any team in any district of the Kashmir province,’ according to an ACB official. The ACB stated in the FIR, ‘The bills raised and placed on record in this regard have been found to be fake’.

During the investigation, ACB discovered that the bills produced had the same handwriting, proving that they were forged. The funds were obtained by J&K Football Association members preparing false and fabricated bills. ‘ Similarly, an amount of $1800 was shown paid to Hindustan Photostat for various activities, which were also discovered to be fake and prepared using forgery during an investigation’. The FIR stated, ‘A sum of $1300 was shown paid to Jan Hardware Tengpora by-pass Srinagar, which was discovered to be non-existent’.

ACB has registered FIR 30/22 in Police Station ACB, SBG Srinagar under Sections 5(1)(c), 5(1)(d) read with Section 5(2) of the JK PC Act Svt 2006 and Sections 465, 467, 468, 471, and 120-B of the Ranbir Penal Code against JKFA officials including its president Zamir Thakur, treasurer S S Bunty, chief executive S A Hameed, and member Fayaz Ahmad, among others. The Jammu and Kashmir Anti-Corruption Bureau has cracked down hard on corruption in the Union territory. ACB has arrested a half-dozen government officials in recent weeks on corruption charges. The arrests are part of the Modi government’s zero-tolerance policy for corruption.


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