SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has filed an FIR against the Jammu and Kashmir Football Association (JKFA) officials for misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 45 lakh received from the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council.

As per the officials of ACB, a preliminary inquiry was conducted after a complaint was lodged by well-wishers of the Football Association. Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat of Sopore alleged that funds allotted by the J&K Sports Council and other government and semi-government agencies, who were conducting football activities across J&K, were misused and the funds sanctioned by the government through J&K Sports Council to organise tournaments like Khelo India and Mufti Memorial Gold Cup were not utilised properly.

Top Anti-Corruption Bureau official said, “During the investigation, it was found that members of J&K Football Association showed an amount of Rs 43,06,500 paid to Mughal Darbar, Polo View Srinagar (a famous restaurant in Srinagar) for purchase of Biryani as refreshment for the teams. But no such refreshment was ever given to any team in any district of Kashmir province.”

“The bills raised and placed on record in this regard have been found fake,” the ACB stated in the FIR.

Official Further added, “Similarly, an amount of Rs 1,41,300 was shown paid to Hindustan Photostat for various activities, which during inquiry also were found out to be fake and prepared by resorting to forgery. An amount of Rs 1,01,900 was shown paid to Jan Hardware Tengpora Bye-pass Srinagar which was found non-existing.”

“During the probe, it was found out that an amount of Rs 43,06,500 has been shown drawn out of Rs 50 lakh budget released for Kashmir division by the J&K Sports Council which on inquiry has been found drawn based on fake and forged bills or documents,” Officer stated.

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“It has also been found that the J&K Sports Council released these funds to the J&K Football Association before the commencement of the events without ensuring account for on-ground utilisation and follow up thereupon,” the official investigating the scam said. He added, “The probe further revealed that all these bills bear the handwriting of the same person, thus proved forged.”

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Officials privy to the case said the bills have been sent to the Forensic Sciences Department to ascertain the individual and on whose directions, he prepared the bills. “The forensic experts will match the handwriting of the accused officials with that on the receipts and bring forth more evidence,” the official said.

The amount has been found drawn by preparing false and fabricated bills by the J&K Football Association members including former JKFA President Zameer Ahmad Thakur, Treasurer S S Bunty, Chief Executive S A Hameed, District President JKFA Fayaz Ahmad, and others. 

ACB registered FIR 30/22 in Police Station ACB, SBG Srinagar against JKFA officials including its president Zamir Thakur, treasurer S S Bunty, chief executive S A Hameed, and member Fayaz Ahmad among others.

The ACB has booked JKFA president Zamir Thakur SS Bunty, treasurer SA Hameed, chief executive Fayaz Ahmad and a few others on charges of allegedly swindling funds worth Rs 43 lakh. 

No arrests have been made so far and officials say more names will come up during further investigations.

People across the UT are hailing the action of the anti-corruption bureau, people believe that the cleaning of the system has begun and soon a Corruption free system will be in UT. 

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