Zarqawi dead, but ?valid for unemployment allowance? | india | Hindustan Times
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Zarqawi dead, but ?valid for unemployment allowance?

TO GET a domicile certificate made, you need to give some proof. But, when Abu Musab-al Zarqawi, chief of Iraq?s al-Qaeda unit who was blown up by the US forces in Iraq recently, is certified as a resident of the city and eligible for claiming the unemployment allowance, you need no proofs to conclude that by greasing the palms of the brokers, virtually anyone stands a chance to avail the Rs 500-unemployment allowance.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 01:32 IST
Deep Singh

TO GET a domicile certificate made, you need to give some proof.

But, when Abu Musab-al Zarqawi, chief of Iraq’s al-Qaeda unit who was blown up by the US forces in Iraq recently, is certified as a resident of the city and eligible for claiming the unemployment allowance, you need no proofs to conclude that by greasing the palms of the brokers, virtually anyone stands a chance to avail the Rs 500-unemployment allowance. 

On Wednesday, the officials of the district administration went into a tizzy after this correspondent got a certificate issued on Monday through a broker certifying that Zarqawi was a resident of A-1, Jal Sansthan Colony, Water Works Road, Lucknow. In a knee-jerk reaction, tehsildar Sadar, Chhote Lal Mishra was on Wednesday asked to get an FIR registered in the case at the Wazirganj police station.

But, the FIR doesn’t solve the problem. For the certificate comes with an attestation by two gazetted officers, secretary, state transport Jamshed Alam Siddiqui and deputy transport commissioner Rajendra Prasad, both of whom have testified to have known Zarqawi for donkey’s years. Besides, notary KK Jaiswal and a lawyer, PK Singh too were used for getting the affidavit cleared.                   

What’s more, the affidavit that also carried Zarkawi’s photograph comes with a seal ‘valid for unemployment allowance only’.

Of course, Zarkawi wouldn’t have been interested in the Rs 500 unemployment allowance that the state government proposes to give to the unemployed youths on June 16. And neither has Amit Tripathi, who as HT discovered was the actual resident of A-1, Jal Sansthan Colony that is shown against Zarkawi’s name, got anything to do with Al-Qaeda. The issue is if Zarkawi could be shown as a Lucknow resident then what’s the importance of a domicile certificate anyway?

A day after the publication  of the story, this correspondent discovered that there were several loopholes in the entire affair. First, a spot inspection either by a lekhpal or a similarly ranked official is a must. But, the practice was done away with by officials of the district administration, ostensibly due to time constraints in preparing certificates of scores of those who would queue up for availing the unemployment allowance from the Chief Minister on June 16.

“That’s why the seal affixed on the certificate says that it is valid only for claiming the unemployment allowance,” says ADM (administration) NP Singh.

The affidavit is sold from the collectorate. Legally, the person to whom the certificate is sold should sign and the write down his address and other details with the person selling it. The notary then is supposed to attest the affidavit in the individual’s presence and after taking his thumb impression and signature.

The reality is that these procedures are done away with for a paltry Rs 20 each.

The affidavit, after the checking of original documents like ration card etc, has to be signed by lekhpal, kanungo, naib tehsildar and magistrate.

Four photographs of the person who is seeking the certificate are required.

In this case, a single pic would have been enough to prove that Zarkawi was a terrorist and that he was dead. As HT discovered, it just required a broker to break into the system and rip it apart for a few bucks.