The CBI raid on the residence of former Srinagar Deputy Commissioner and IAS officer Shahid Iqbal Choudhary has pitted two mainstream political parties against each other.
Choudhary is currently Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, J&K, and CEO of Mission Youth programme.
While the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party has said that the bureaucrat was “given ample time to destroy evidence”, the Peoples Conference has come in support of Choudhary saying a “hardworking IAS officer cannot overnight be dubbed as a violator of law”.
Terming the CBI investigation a mere eyewash, the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party has questioned the investigation into the arms’ licence scam.
“It seems that the investigating agency is trying to shield the culprits who are involved in this scam by providing them ample time to destroy evidence and manage escape routes,” said Apni Party’s General Secretary Vikram Malhotra. “That the CBI is conducting raids and searches in a scam which happened during 2012-16. After years of gap, the raids being conducted at the official residences of the IAS officers shows how serious the investigating agency is”.
Malhotra, who hails from Jammu, has sought an investigation into the assets made by the officers accused of the scam.
“If (the) CBI is looking for documents after a gap of a few years, then they are mistaken. The investigation and subsequent raids seem to be an eye-wash,” Malhotra said. “The CBI should inquire about the palaces these IAS officers have acquired from the ill-gotten money within the capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu. The source of funding of these palaces must be investigated.”
The statement issued by Choudhary after the raids at his residence has not gone well with the Party. “Instead of CBI, which is probing the scam, it is surprising to see that an IAS officer is coming out with the details claiming that “nothing incriminating found” in the ongoing arms license probe from his residence,” Malhotra said.
The Peoples Conference has openly come in support of Choudhary. In a response to Malhotra, Peoples Conference General Secretary Imarn Ansari has said that the “court of law will define justice”.
“Raids and investigations cannot define justice and a hardworking IAS officer cannot overnight be dubbed as violator of law,” Ansari said while backing Choudhary. “I fail to understand how a political party has decided to offer its unsolicited views in an ongoing investigation. If law is really to take its course then the queue would be really long. Someone, who till yesterday was an honourable hardworking IAS officer looked up by youngsters cannot overnight be dubbed as violator of law.”
Ansari said while the Peoples Conference has been “at the forefront in criticising the bureaucracy” for lack of deliverance, such issues can’t be turned into a personal fight.
“I personally know the officer and I am sure he will come out clean.” Ansari said giving a clean chit to the accused IAS officer. “We know what problem the Apni party has with this bureaucrat. Using petty familial issues to actually target an achiever and demand for his arrest is shameful behaviour”.