NCM brings TMREIS under scanner

Premier minority welfare bodies at loggerheads over allegations of irregularities and impropriety

Premier minority welfare bodies at loggerheads over allegations of irregularities and impropriety

Two premier minority welfare bodies, one a Government of India affiliate and the other, a Telangana Government concern, lock horns over murky allegations of sexual harassment, irregularities and impropriety, politicisation of institutions, and moving courts of law.

The National Commission for Minorities (NCM), a statutory body associated with the Ministry of Minority Affairs, and the Telangana Minorities Residential Educational Institutions Society (TMREIS), an agency of the Telangana Government, have been sparring with each other for quite some time.

In February, NCM officiating chairperson Shahzadi Syed, who had contested the 2018 Assembly polls on a BJP ticket against MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, landed in Hyderabad to convene a meeting with TMREIS staff at Dilkusha Guest House over allegations of impropriety, which had appeared in sections of the media, in recruiting outsourced staff.

After this meeting, NCM sent summons on February 14, directing B. Shafiullah, secretary of TMREIS, an Indian Forest Service officer, and Rahul Raj, Collector of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district, to appear before the panel in Delhi on February 23.

TMREIS writ petition

It is at this juncture that TMREIS started to push back. Mr. Shafiullah and Mr. Raj filed a writ petition, a copy of which was accessed by  The Hindu, at the High Court, seeking setting aside of the summons. They also contended that the allegations were without ‘valid grounds’.

Summons were also sent to the Commissioner of Minorities’ Welfare Shahnawaz Qasim, an IPS officer, who had also filed a writ petition.

In both the cases, the High Court ordered an interim suspension of the summons till the NCM filed its counters.

“The allegations were flying thick and fast,” a senior TMREIS staffer told  The Hindu. “These are baseless charges and are sullying the image and good work that TMREIS has been doing for the community. We have thousands of children studying in 204 schools. The objections are over non-issues like a staffer using green ink. The Collector and TMREIS have investigated the matter and there is no evidence of wrongdoing,” he said.

Anonymous letter

On March 21, there was a flutter after NCM’s official Twitter handle tweeted about an alleged case of sexual harassment at a girls’ school run by the TMREIS in Alair, a town in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district, some 70 km from Hyderabad. A student from this school had written an ‘open letter’ to the authorities informing them of the incident, the NCM tweeted.

Terming these allegations serious, and to get to the bottom of the issue, Ms. Syed interacted with the students of that school. But, TMREIS reacted strongly. In a letter released to the media, it condemned the development. “What was being done had ‘ulterior’ and ‘malafide’ intentions to malign TMREIS’ image, and defeat the efforts of the Telangana Government,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Rachakonda Police maintained that marital discord between a woman security guard and her now estranged husband, Shaik Haneef, was at the heart of the issue. “An anonymous letter was sent to the District Collector about sexual harassment in the school. We suspect the security guard’s husband wrote this letter. The matter is being investigated,” a senior police officer said.

According to the FIR, the victim stated that on March 18, Haneef reached the hostel and verbally abused her. Later, the principal of the TMREIS school received a copy of the anonymous letter in which aspersions were cast on her and five of her colleagues. The victim also told the police that she suspected her estranged husband of writing the letter. Haneef was booked for making obscene statements against women, and forgery.

A senior TMREIS official, who did not wish to be identified, claimed that the institution is a victim of politicisation. “We have thousands of students from weaker sections studying here. And to make such allegations when we are working to get more admissions is dangerous,” he said.

Speaking to The Hindu, Ms. Syed said that NCM had asked for an investigation into the alleged Alair sexual harassment case by a team consisting of a senior police officer and District Collector. “If there is truth in the anonymous letter, then stringent action should be taken. If somebody is trying to malign the image of TMREIS, that will also be taken up seriously. It is an insult to NCM that officers have not responded to the summons. We will pursue this case in the court,” she said.

Ms. Syed rejected charges of politicisation, and pointed out that the NCM chairperson is a ‘constitutional post”. “We are doing whatever we can to ensure better facilities for minorities. There is no question of politicisation,” she said.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Eid-ul-Fitr moon sighting highlights: Saudi Arabia, India may mark Eid same day

Eid-ul-Fitr 2022 moon sighting highlights: There is a wafer-thin chance that Muslims…

As Washington ramps up efforts to bring India on board with sanctions against Russia, U.S. treasury official on visit to Mumbai and Delhi

U.S. Assistant Secretary to discuss Russian oil purchases by India, rupee-rouble trade…

सड़क, रेल, 5G… अरुणाचल बॉर्डर से सटे तिब्‍बत में क्‍या-क्‍या गुल खिला रहा चीन, सेना ने सब बताया

Edited by दीपक वर्मा | भाषा | Updated: May 17, 2022, 1:08…

India Shelves ₹35,000 Cr Plan To Upgrade Su-30 Fighter Fleet Amid Russia-ukraine War | Mint

NEW DELHI : Several factors have shelved the Indian Air Force’s plan…