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Shri Ram Sena protests black marketing of cooking gas
Shri Ram Sena Jammu- Kashmir Friday organised a protest demonstration-cum-dharna outside JAKFED office Amphalla, Jammu against 'black marketing' of cooking gas by the JAKFED officials. Hundreds of people from different social and political organisations participated in the protest dharna.

Addressing the gathering, Shri Ram Sena state president Rajiv Mahajan said JAKFED booked 2200 cylinders up to March 31 and delivered 1300 cylinders only against the said bookings, the remaining 900 cylinders were not delivered to the customers and obviously were sold in black.

It was also learned from reliable sources that each gas cylinder was sold at the rate Rs1200 in black market by officials of the JAKFED. Mahajan demanded a high level inquiry in the whole affair and action against the black marketers who have blown off the stoves of 900 households for their personal gains and made the innocent public to suffer.

Mahajan further said that JAKFED has been a place of scams and frauds for so many years. The officials of JAKFED are habitual of embezzlements, he alleged. Mahajan said a major scam worth Rs 300 crore, which occurred in the JAKFED 13 years ago, is still pending and the Jammu and Kashmir government has not recovered the embezzled money from the accused till date and the culprits are still enjoying the full scale embezzlement.

Quoting a media report, Mahajan said, “Thirteen years after the detection of a Rs 300 crore scam in the J&K Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation (JAKFED) in the state, the Jammu Kashmir government is yet to recover the siphoned off money from the accused.”

“Significantly, this has been so when the one man inquiry commission headed by K B Pillai, the then Principal Secretary Power Development Department, had in 2000 named 50 officials in the multi-crore scam. Of them, while 35 employees stand terminated, 14 others have gone home after their retirement.”

“Against the lone employee, whose name figured in the scam and who is still in service, the JAKFED's Managing Director does not want any action taken as it will adversely affect the functioning of the organization.”

His removal/attachment at this stage shall shatter the economy of the JAKFED especially because of the fact that the organization is already short of well educated and experienced officers,' reads a letter written by him to Registrar Cooperative Societies on March 31 this year.

The Minister of State for Cooperatives, Dr Manohar Lal Sharma, however, describes the scam a complicated issue, with cases pertaining to it pending with the Vigilance Organization, Crime Branch, State Accountability Commission and even the Anti-Corruption Court. He has set up a high level committee to look into the matter and recover outstanding, if any, from all those retired and terminated from service.

Jammu Province People Forum (JPPF) president, Th. Pavitar Singh (Retd. District and Session Judge) while addressing the gathering said that their organization extends full support to the issue of black marketing of cooking gas raised by Shri Ram Sena.

Singh said Mahajan has rightly initiated the protest against the officials of the JAKFED who are involved in black marketing of cooking gas cylinders. He said on the one hand the Government and its officials keep on assuring lot many things but on the other hand they are involved in corrupt practices. He urged the Minister for Cooperatives, Manohar Lal Sharma to constitute a high level enquiry to ensure justice to the aggrieved consumers.

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