Allegations of major fraud in the appointment of teachers at several madarsas in Azamgarh have surfaced in Uttar Pradesh, reported Navbharat Times (NT). The State government has constituted an SIT (Special Investigation Team) to determine the role played by Minority welfare officers and other staff members in the fraudulent appointment of teachers at Azamgarh madarsas between 1974 to 2013, as per the report.
During the investigation carried out by the SIT at 20 such institutes in Azamgarh, it was revealed that teachers were appointed despite having certificates from institutes that are neither run nor recognised by the State and Union government. Reportedly, the administrators of the madarsas have appointed teachers who have graduated with third division or less than 55% marks which is the cut-off eligibility. An individual who passed with third division with grace marks was also appointed as a teacher.
One of the madarsa teachers claimed to have 3 years of teaching experience as of February 28, 2004, at Sirjaul Ul Uloom madarsa in Chitrakoot, even though the madarsa was not recognised by the government till then. The SIT found that one Armaan Ahmed was appointed as an assistant teacher on November 6, 1981, but he was not even 18 years old at that time, a mandatory requirement for appointment. Similarly, a principal assistant madarsa teacher named Mohammed Mehndi was appointed on January 9, 1996, although his experience certificate was issued two months later on May 21.
Cases of laxity and conflict of interest during teacher appointments in madarsas
During its probe, the SIT found that Zaheen Ahmed, the Chairman of the Board which runs the madarsa in Mubarakpur in Azamgarh, had appointed 3 of his daughters, namely, Alisha Siddiqui, Rubana Zaheen, and Ibtesan Zaheen as Assistant teachers. His daughter Nusrat Zaheen was also appointed as principal on November 24, 2014. In a clear case of conflict of interest, the Chairman himself had issued letters of appointment for his four daughters.
The SIT revealed that Registrar Rahul Gupta and Joint Director Sheshnath Pandey are yet to be named in the FIR. The duo has disposed of 14 cases of irregular appointments in gross violation of the rules. Gupta and Pandey are posted in the Directorate of Minority Welfare. The Special Investigation Team has however recommended Departmental action against the two individuals on charges of ‘laxity’. Seshanath Pandey has however cried foul and said that he will register his objection to the probe conducted by the SIT before an appropriate forum.