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National SC Panel backs Sameer Wankhede, condemns personal attacks by Nawab Malik against his family

However, the SC commission VC also clarified that the state can initiate a probe in case of doubt about a person’s caste certificate. “In the central government, caste verification is not mandatory, but the state government is empowered to probe into the caste certificate of a resident of Maharashtra,” informed Halder. 

The vice-chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Arun Halder on Sunday said that Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer Sameer Wankhede is being targeted despite doing good work.

“One officer is doing his duty and making the department proud. So how can a minister personally attack him and his family members? The government should carry out an investigation in why he is doing so,” commented Arun Halder after visiting Wankhede’s house. 

“I feel that he belongs to the SC community and hails from Mahar caste and rose to such a position despite belonging to a poor family,” said Halder further defending the NCB official. 

However, the vice-chairperson also clarified that the state can initiate a probe in case of doubt about a person’s caste certificate. “In the central government, caste verification is not mandatory, but the state government is empowered to probe into the caste certificate of a resident of Maharashtra,” informed Halder. 

Social justice minister Dhananjay Munde also confirmed that if the competent authority receives a complaint, it will be investigated as per rules.

Committee to probe the matter

As informed by the officials, a caste certificate is issued by the sub-divisional officer/deputy collector. A high-level committee headed by an officer of the rank of joint secretary or additional collector then verifies the certificate. 

It then goes for validation to the caste scrutiny committee as per the guidelines prescribed by Supreme Court in the Madhuri Patil case.

Divulging information about the process in case a complaint of forged or false certificate is received, the official said, “The committee hears all parties, asks for all relevant certificates and if needed, visits the residence against whom the complaint has been made.”

“The social justice department has made the entire procedure very stringent and all cases are disposed of in a time-bound period,” he added further. 

As per rules, if the certificate is found to be forged or false, it will invite a six months’ jail term and fine. 

“We have all the documents”

Rattled by Aryan Khan’s arrest by the NCB, Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik had accused Wankhede of forging his caste certificate and other documents to secure a job under the SC quota for the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The minister informed that a complaint is likely to be filed in a day or two. “We have all the documents and records to establish that Wankhede is from a Muslim community and does not belong to a scheduled caste,” Malik said.

Ramdas Athawale extends support

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes on Friday had taken cognisance of the complaint filed by the Zonal Director of Mumbai’s NCB Sameer Wankhede over the continuous harassment meted out to him by Maharashtra government minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik.

Apart from the National SC panel, Wankhede’s family also visited Union Minister and Republican Party of India president Ramdas Athawale on Sunday. 

Voicing his support for the NCB official, Athawale said, “NCP minister Nawab Malik was targeting Sameer Wankhede as he had arrested his son-in-law (Sameer Khan) in a drug-related case. This was politics of vengeance. I have gone through all the documents. Sameer Wankhede is Hindu and not Muslim. He has not used any fake certificate to get the job.”

He also warned Malik to refrain from “conspiring” to defame the NCB officer and his family members.

 

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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