He is being inducted as Minister in Omar Cabinet today
National Conference (NC) MLA Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo, who resigned as Minister of State for Home in face of accusations of partisan role, has been found ‘not guilty’ by Justice R.C. Gandhi Commission of Enquiry in the communal riots of August 9 in Kishtwar. He is being inducted in the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s Council of Ministers on Saturday.
Highly placed government sources told The Hindu that Secretary to the Commission submitted an interim report to the State government through the Secretary GAD on Thursday night. On Wednesday, the NC's Core Group recommended Mr. Kichloo's induction as Minister and requested Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to obtain an interim report from the Gandhi Commission if the part of enquiry about the MLA had been completed.
Even as the document was described to be ‘folded in secrecy,’ the sources said that Mr. Kichloo was acquitted of all the charges of ‘partisan role’ and ‘dereliction of duty as a Minister.’ Mr. Kichloo told The Hindu on Friday that he was being re-inducted as MoS in-charge of Home and Industries . on Saturday. “I have been asked to return for the oath-taking tomorrow,” he said.
None of the nearly 350 affidavits filed before the Commission during the course of investigation mentioned Mr. Kichloo as an accused, said an official source. “Almost all the charges levelled against Mr. Kichloo during the month of August have been found as baseless and politically motivated”, he said. “However, some officers including then Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police, besides the incumbent Deputy Inspector General of Police Ashkoor Wani, have been found guilty on different counts, including mishandling of situation and dereliction of duty”, the source added.
The Commission criticised the police for not filing FIR on Mr. Kichloo’s request against the rioters who allegedly attacked him and other government functionaries at Dak Bungalow of Kishtwar during the communal clashes. Two persons, one Muslim another Hindu, died and over two dozen people sustained injuries in the six-hour-long clashes on occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr congregational prayers at the district headquarters.