The multi-crore Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) scam has grown more murkier with the association president Farooq Abdullah, also Union minister for new and renewable energy, not being present in the country the day he claimed a unanimous decision was taken by all members to seek an interest free loan of Rs 1.90 crore from Jammu and Kashmir Bank in favour of its treasurer Ahsan Ahmad Mirza.
According to the documents accessed by the Hindustan Times, Abdullah was in London on June 27-28, 2008 to attend the tehelka news magazine's India-Pak summit. Abdullah was at the summit for two consecutive days as panelist.
The dates clash with the Union minister's recent JKCA document issued to the media claiming that the loan amount was sanctioned by the entire association members unanimoulsy and was duly signed by Abdullah on June 27, 2008. The document has signatures of Abdullah and general secretary Saleem Khan. But it remains a mystery as who signed the document on behalf of Abdullah as he was away from the country
This year on March 10, the police registered a case filed by JKCA chairman Muhammad Aslam Goni against general secretary and former treasurer Mirza and chief administrative officer Mohammad Saleem Khan for allegedly opening and operating bogus association bank accounts into which money received from the BCCI had been siphoned off.
However, a letter issued by the J&K Bank branch head said it was on the authority letter of JKCA president Abdullah that Rs 1.90 crore was credited into the account No. 90605 of Mirza.
Abdullah seems cornered now with his close associate Mir Manzoor Gazanfar, who resigned as the treasurer of JKCA in 2008, accusing Abdullah of visiting his hotel in Srinagar and made him sign blank cheques.
Descrining charges as "politically motivated", Abdullah said, "I never asked ex-treasurers to sign any cheques."
After leveling the allegations, Gazanfar has gone underground. Despite repeated attempts for the last two days by the HT, his mobile numbers are continuously on switch-off mode. The family also expresses ignorance about his whereabouts.
Mirza, who, according to Gazanfar, accompanied Abdullah to see him when blank cheque was signed, is accused of defrauding the association of over Rs 30 crore after allegedly opening bogus bank accounts on its behalf. Sacked Mirza, however, said he was made a scapegoat.
Voices are growing shriller within the association to rehash the body. JKCA's 40 working committee members on March 21 demanded dissolution of the existing set up, holding of fresh elections and an independent inquiry into the scam so that all the persons involved are unmasked.
"I am whistle blower in the case. Why should I resign?" said JKCA chairman Goni.
Goni alleged those who were demanding his resignation are ambitious to become chairm. "More than Rs 50 lakh (of the JKCA) is pending against them (members)," alleged Goni.