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Care for dole, Zarqawi?

A broker and some greasing of the palms was all it took for HT to get a fake domicile certificate issued in the name of the slain Al Qaeda leader.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2006 10:11 IST
Deep Singh

It does not take much to get hold of a domicile certificate to claim unemployment allowance ? not even if you are Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the slain chief of Al Qaeda in Iraq. All it takes is a broker and some money. A couple of days ago, this correspondent got a certificate issued through a broker that said Zarqawi was a resident of Lucknow and was eligible to claim the Rs 500 allowance. The certificate said Zarqawi was a resident of A-1, Jal Sansthan Colony, Water Works Road, Lucknow ? and was attested by two gazetted officers. The two officers, secretary (state transport) Jamshed Alam Siddiqui and deputy transport commissioner Rajendra Prasad, testified to have known Zarqawi for the past several years. Besides, notary K.K. Jaiswal and a lawyer, P.K. Singh, too cleared the affidavit (which carried a cleanshaven Zarqawi?s photograph). It came with a seal saying: ?Valid for unemployment allowance only.? Of course, Zarqawi would not have been interested in the allowance the state government proposes to give to unemployed youths on June 16. But this shows how easy it is to procure the domicile certificate ? on the basis of which the allowance will be paid. Several safeguards were overlooked while issuing the certificate. A spot inspection either by a lekhpal or an officer of equivalent rank is a must. But it was not done. Also, the person buying the affidavit should sign and submit his address and other details with the person selling it at the collectorate. The notary is then supposed to attest the affidavit after taking the claimant?s signature. In Zarqawi?s case, both checks were done away with for just Rs 20 each. After checking original documents like ration card, the lekhpal, kanungo, naib tehsildar and magistrate have to sign the affidavit. As this correspondent discovered, a broker was enough to get past them. After HT brought the issue to the notice of the administration, an FIR was registered. Also, the chief secretary ordered a probe into the matter. Prez too not spared | In 2004, Vinod Kamble, an engi neering dropout in Mumbai, was arrested for impersonating A.P.J. Abdul Kalam | Kamble sent nearly 270 emails from Kalam?s account to top sci entists, recommending Dr Prasenjit Vinod Kamble as a bril liant scientist and a key member of the team that conducted the Pokharan-II nuclear test.