Idrees Ali

Relatives, family members of arrested Headmaster stage protest; decry ‘injustice’

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Girls High School Shalabugh Ganderbal Salary embezzlement

Ganderbal, Aug 11: Two weeks after his arrest, relatives and family members of Ghulam Nabi Tantary, Headmaster Girls High school Shalabugh Ganderbal today staged a protest alleging that the headmaster has been made a scapegoat in the salary embezzlement case.

The protesters said, “The Headmaster brought the alleged salary embezzlement to the notice of Chief Education Officer (CEO) Ganderbal, and that is his only mistake.”

The protesters alleged that CEO Ganderbal Gayas-u-Din is shielding the real perpetrator involved in the scam and the headmaster who first exposed the scam was made a scapegoat.

They further said that Tantray was suspended by School education department from his services on 29 June on pretext of negligence and now he has been arrested by police over some fabricated allegations.

An eyewitness said that while demanding the release of Headmaster, the protesters assembled near Mini Secretariat Ganderbal and raised slogans against School Education Department and CEO Ganderbal.

He said that protesters were holding placards that read ‘we want justice’, ‘Don’t discourage honest people’,’ Knowing reality being ignorant’.

Reliable sources in the education department told Kashmir Images that a clerk posted at the High School has allegedly swindled huge money, from past five years, amounting to lakhs from the government treasury and subsequently transferred the money into the accounts of his kith and kin.

“On 5 June, the Headmaster became suspicious about a Junior Assistant, Mohammad Ismail, working at the High School. Ismail had asked the Headmaster to sign a salary bill of a teacher which according to him was a pending salary bill of a teacher, but when the Headmaster contacted the said teacher he was surprised to learn that the teacher had already withdrawn his full salary,” sources revealed.

“The headmaster wrote to the CEO about the scam following which the CEO ordered the headmaster to form an internal enquiry committee to probe the fraud, however, the Junior Assistant denied to divulge any information to the committee. He withheld a cashbook, attendance book, budget control register and other documents as a result the committee failed to investigate the alleged scam and the CEO was asked to form a new committee,” sources added.

The sources further revealed that the CEO formed a new enquiry committee comprising of senior employees of the Education Department and the committee submitted its report to CEO on 28 June and the next day, the Headmaster and Junior Assistant were suspended.

Speaking to Kashmir Images, CEO Ganderbal, said, “The allegations being leveled against me are baseless. I have submitted the report of enquiry to DC Ganderbal. I don’t have much role to play now. DSEK and Police are now investigating the case.”

A police official said that during initial inquiry the headmaster was arrested under section 467,468,421 and 420 of RPC.

When contacted SSP Ganderbal Khalil Poswal said, “I have met the protesters and assured them free and fair investigation in the case. We will thoroughly investigate all aspects of the case and all the culprits will be brought to justice.”

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