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Graft charge: J&K education minister set to quit

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
January 15, 2008 10:11 IST
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Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, Jammu and Kashmir education minister and state Congress president, will tender his resignation on Tuesday following allegations of corruption.

The charge of graft was brought upĀ against Sayeed, by a sitting legislator, Shoaib Lone, on Friday last on the floor of the assembly, presently in session in winter capital Jammu. The legislator had alleged that the minister's personal assistant hadĀ taken Rs 40,000 from him to do a job.

Sources said Sayeed is meeting Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday to submit his resignation.

In an interesting development, Shoaib Lone informed the chief minister on Monday that his mother had received a threatening call following his expose, asking her to advise her son to keep mum on the issue.

The call was later reportedly traced to the driver of the minister, who was arrested immediately, the chief minister announced on the floor of the house.

Stating that action will be taken against the accused if found guilty, Azad reiterated that his firm commitment to fight corruption in the state.

The chief minister said he had made his intentions clear on waging a war against corruption the day he came to Jammu and Kashmir to assume the responsibilities of the government.

The state government on Monday announced an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the killing of Shoaib Lone's father and former junior education minister, Dr Ghulam Nabi Lone.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar