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ARSHAD HUSSAIN/ RANTIDEV SENGUPTA | New Delhi, February 17, 2012 16:02
Tags : regional media | print journalism | Arshad Hussain in print journalism |

Arshad Hussain, senior editor, Greater Kashmir

With more than 16 years of experience in print journalism, Arshad Hussain started his career as a trainee with Press Trust of India (PTI), the national news agency, in New Delhi. After working in PTI for five years as senior sub-editor, he moved on to work as desk coordinator at Political and Business Observer. He has also worked as chief sub-editor at The Asian Age. Hussain received the prestigious K K Birla fellowship for journalism in 2002-03. Since 2005, he has been senior editor in Greater Kashmir.



On January 30, Srinagar based Greater Kashmir’s senior editor published an exclusive story on how the son ofState Education Minister, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, was helped by an official of the education department to pass his class 10th examination through unfair means and impersonation, in 2009. In the story, it was alleged that an honest teacher, who was on duty at the examination centre where the minister’s son appeared for the examinations, had already lodged a complaint to his higher authorities. But the hiher authorities did not pay heed to the teacher’s complaint. After the publication of the story, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, while taking cognisance of the revelations, asked the crime branch of J&K Police to probe the matter. The voices asking the education minister to resign have also been raised by Sayeed’s political rivals, putting the minister’s career in danger. “The impersonation case was registered in 2009 within the Board of School Education (BOSE), and after months of investigation by the officials in BOSE, the incriminating evidence in the form of answer sheets match the complaint and report was forwarded to the chairman BOSE in 2010 for further action. Taking advantage of unrest in 2010, the chairman, at the behest of the minister, dumped the file and the case. Finally, I decided to go ahead and publish the report.” Arshad told TSI.  

Rantidev Sengupta, Asst. editor, Bartaman

Gautam Roy was dispossessed of his small nursing home under Bijpur police station by the local MLA of the ruling Trinamool Congress. The nursing home has been treating common people and the monks of Ramakrishna Mission, as Roy is a devotee. He was asked to pay Rs 8 lakh to get back the usurped equipment worth more than Rs 1 crore. When he lodged a complaint with the local police in retaliation, theyturned a deaf ear to him and did not take any action in this connection. When Roy requested a local TMC leader who is close to the MLA, he was told he should form a partnership business accepting the MLA’s wife as a partner. Roy refused to oblige and approached the media instead. After this news was published in Bartaman in mid-September, the police became very active and helped Roy get back his equipment. 


How did you get the news?
I was covering the CM’s first visit to Jungle Mahal when I got a call from Gautam Roy, who I didn’t know. He wanted my help. I told him to call back after my return. Later, he informed me about the whole story. 
Did you then write this as a post edit?
Not really. I visited the town two-three times without disclosing my identity and checked if the story I was told was true. I talked to the common people, including unknown tea stall owners and found the Nursing Home has a place in thelocal people’s hearts. Then one day, I rang up Bijpur Police Station. The Officer there informed me about the story, and assured me they were solving it amicably. I waited for few more days, re-checked with the police about the status and then wrote it in my weekly column. 
Did you face any threat? 
I was not threatened, butGautam Roy certainly was. In fact, he faced several threats. My experience is that I got no cooperation from the local police. Unfortunately, the police has not changed its attitude even after the change of guards at the helm of affairs. Another thing is that I have received a number of calls from common readers, including high level Trinamool Congress leaders, who encouraged me to expose that MLA. One of them said: “He became another Hubba Shyamal,” a dreaded anti-social killed recently. 



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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017