The unending list of corruption and bribery allegations in the recruitment drives in Jammu and Kashmir is denting claims of “corruption clean” Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir post-5 August 2019.
In the latest list of alleged recruitment scams in Jammu and Kashmir, a fresh alleged irregularity has emerged in Fire And Emergency Services Department recruitment, for which the test was held in 2020. In the examination, 14,000 candidates had appeared for 800 posts of drivers and firemen advertised by the government.
The fire services recruitment scam is the latest in the list of scams that have surfaced in the UT this year.
Earlier, the allegations of irregularities emerged in Jammu and Kashmir Police sub inspector recruitment examination, Finance Department, and Junior Engineers recruitment. In the all the three recruitments, the selection lists have been cancelled after the allegations of corruption surfaced.
In July, the merit lists for 1,200 sub-inspector posts in Jammu and Kashmir Police Department, 1,300 junior engineer posts, and 1,000 financial account assistant posts in Finance Department were cancelled by J&K government.
It had ordered a CBI investigation after allegations of paper leak in the examinations for the various departments.
Last week, Jammu and Kashmir High Court had cancelled a renewed recruitment process for hundreds of police sub-inspectors’ and junior engineers’ posts.
The Court cancelled the process after finding the contract for the recruitment was given to a blacklisted agency. The agency—Aptech, blacklisted by three state governments had been given sub-contract by J&K’s recruitment body Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB). Earlier, the original recruitment process had been scrapped by J&K government.
The series of alleged scams has dented the image of the government to a large extent, which otherwise has been boasting of corruption-free governance post 5 August 2019, when the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped and it was downgaraded from a state to Union Territory. Besides, J&K on the day was divided into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
Former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have lambasted government over the series of scams.
Mufti has said that the scams expose the UT administration “fake claims of zero corruption”.
“Back-to-back recruitment scams in Naya Kashmir expose J&K admin’s fake claims of zero corruption. They are sabotaging the future of our youngsters with unbridled impunity. Brazen manner in which corruption has blighted these processes indicates its policy to ruin lives of youth,” Mufti had said.
Omar Abdullah also said that the J&K government should stop act to stop the alleged irregularities in the successive recruitment scams.
“Earlier, one of 10 lists might be questioned and reviewed. Today nine out of 10 lists are questioned and then inquiries are ordered”.
The junior Abdullah also said: “I don’t understand that three years after August 2019 and for the four years of governor’s rule, have they not learned how to stop these scams and issue proper lists. Inquiries are ordered but things do not improve. They should get their act together so that these inquiries are not needed.”