Probe begins in J&K Sports Council appointments made by Waheed Parra

Jammu: Probing the alleged involvement in funding stone-pelting incidents in the Kashmir after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in 2016, investigation has begun into the appointments made by PDP youth leader and former secretary Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra into the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council during his tenure.

Para was appointed Secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council in July 2016, replacing Javaid Ahmed Shah, who was sacked from the post over allegations of corruption.

Parra was also a member of the Sports Council at that time.

The decision to sack Javaid Ahmed from the post was taken after a series of allegations were leveled against him by insiders of the council.

There were allegations that Javaid Ahmed had diverted Rs 50 crore which was meant for building sports infrastructure in the state.

“Investigating agencies have started probing various appointments made in the Sports Council during the tenure of Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, who was also the president of the PDP youth unit,” official sources told UNI.

As per reports, nearly 20 people were appointed in the J&K Sports Council, including four in the year 2018, when PDP president Mehbooba Mufti was the Chief Minister and by default being the President of the erstwhile J&K State Sports Council.

The appointments made were of junior coaches (Matric, B.Com, Twelfth Pass) and one Technical Advisor, who was in B A First Year at the time of appointments with Pay scale 9300-34800-5200 GP.

Sources said that the agencies have started investigating the funds spent on sports competitions in Kashmir vis-a-vis the office bearers of some sports organizations after the violent protests triggered in 2016 post killing of Burhan Wani.

Parra, considered to be close aide to former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, was arrested by the NIA last year after his alleged involvement surfaced with Hizbul Mujahideen commander Navid Mushtaq and suspended DSP Devendra Singh in a money laundering case.

A charge-sheet was filed against Parra in the Court last month.

“Parra was appointed the Secretary of the Sports Council on July 13, 2016, with the consent of Mehbooba Mufti,” sources said, adding that the appointment was made when violent protests were going on in Kashmir.

“Parra was given complete freedom to take necessary decisions to keep the youth in Jammu and Kashmir away from stone-pelting and he reportedly has appointed many people in the Sports Council,” they said, adding that most of the appointments made were from Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Bijbihara in South Kashmir.

“These areas were considered to be hub of militant activities and many people who were accommodated in the Sports Council through Parra are under scanner for their dubious backgrounds,” sources expressed and said that as per rules, people appointed into the government service, have to get CID clearance and other security agencies but in many cases in the Sports Council, the process was not followed.

“The allocation of funds to various sports organizations and other financial transactions made during his tenure are also being investigated,” sources added and said that some of the officials of the Sports Council, are likely to be questioned soon by the probing agency especially those appointed during the tenure of Waheed-ur- Rehman Parra as a Secretary.

“During interrogation, Parra has reportedly admitted that he got the job with the intention of mainstreaming many stone-pelters,” they said and added that Parra, who resigned as Secretary in June 2018, has been keeping pace with the stone-pelters operating in Pulwama.

He had allegedly paid Rs 5 crore (reportedly from the Sports Council fund) during 2016 to Altaf Ahmed Shah alias Fantoosh, son-in-law of hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Parra as Secretary Sports Council had organised various sports competitions across the Kashmir Valley and many competitions/championships were organized by such clubs that were never affiliated or recognised by the Sports Body.

“As Secretary, Parra had made a large number of backdoor appointments and the credentials of all those would be scrutinised by the intelligence agencies,” sources said and revealed that there was possibility that some youth with mysterious character were adjusted in the Sports Council in the name of ‘channelizing’ energy of talented youth.

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