PMSSS Fraud: Local NGOs, Consultancies Dupe Students


Srinagar: Days after Police Crime Branch registered a case for alleged cheating of student aspirants of Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Schemes (PMSSS) by some consultancies and NGO’s, more cases have surfaced of gullible falling prey to these elements.

The PMSSS scam surfaced recently when Crime Branch registered a case against several NGOs and some individuals after some students complained that they were cheated by them.

“In the ongoing investigation we found that there is involvement of NGO’s for their role in the fraud. So far names of few local NGOs and consultancies including J&K Peoples Forum and Shahnawaz Consultancies have surfaced for duping Kashmiri students under the PMSSS,” an official of Crime Branch said.

He said Crime Branch Jammu is also investigating the role of some NGOs and consultancies from the Jammu region. “We are investigating whether these NGOs have any political backing,” the official said.

The PMSSS was launched in 2011 by Union Human Resource Development ministry to grant scholarships to the J&K students for pursuing studies in various institutions of the country.

Scores of Kashmiri students were barred from entering into classes after these NGOs and consultancies failed to pay the fees to these colleges under the PMSSS.

“Many students have complained that they had applied for the PMSSS with the help of some local NGOs but they cheated them,” the official said.

Officials said Crime Branch has collected adequate evidence since August 2013 about the “involvement” of few NGOs for cheating students after promising them admissions in different colleges under PMSSS.

Crime Branch had also received complaints from Chief Vigilance Commissioner and Higher Education department that the students of JK have been cheated by extorting them money on the pretext of the centrally sponsored schemes.

Although the investigations are at the initial stage, sources said it seems a big scam where thousands of students have been duped by these NGOs and counsellors.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has raised the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the hardships faced by students under the PMSSS.

Union Minister of Minority Affairs, Najma Heptulla had blamed the Congress led government for failing in implementation of the scheme.

“They (Congress) started the scheme and the fault lies theirs as the Congress didn’t back youth. I have now written to Prime Minister to solve the problem of Kashmiri students,” Heptulla had said. (KNS)

Main accused of scholarship fraud arrested 

SRINAGAR: The Special Investigation Team, formed to probe a scam in a scholarship programme of a university in Rajouri has arrested the main accused of the crime. 

Muzafar Iqbal, an employee of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU), was nabbed from a hideout in Rajouri town yesterday, a police officer said here today. 

Another accused Aijaz Malik, an employee of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, was already in police custody in connection with over Rs 15 lakh scam. 

The BGSBU scholarship fraud came to light on May 20 when Yogesh Thaper, Branch head of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, lodged a written complaint in Darhal Police Station regarding the misappropriation of scholarship funds meant for students of the unviversity and the fraudulent transactions of cheques from the Darhal branch of the bank. 

The investigation revealed that Muzaffar would pass on the cheque numbers to Aijaz Malik who in turn transferred the amount in the accounts of his relatives.

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