In a move that will bring a huge sigh of relief to several students in the valley, the Crime Branch of Kashmir has booked Nazir Ahmed, the managing director of International College of Aviation, in a fraud case.
The college in Baghat Barzulla, Srinagar, is said to have duped over 20 students of lakhs of rupees after asking them to pay large amounts for various courses and promising them jobs in the aviation industry. International Business Times India had reported on the matter in January 2018, when the students had written to the then Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's Grievance Cell alleging fraud. In the letter, the students had said that they were now unemployed and did not have valid certificates to look for a job either.
The Grievance Cell had then forwarded this complaint to the Inspector General of Police (Crime, J&K).
During the investigation, it was found that Ahmed had not just duped the students, but also had established the institution without proper procedures and documents.
"An enquiry was initiated into the matter. During the course of which it revealed that the proprietor cum Managing Director International College of Aviation Nazir Ahmad has established the said college without seeking proper registration from the regulatory authority of Government of India," the crime branch said in a statement.
"The said suspect cheated the innocent students and has taken lakhs of rupees as course fee in the college. It also transpired that the suspect pasted different logos on the courses certificates and lured the gullible aspirants under the garb of imparting courses/providing the jobs."
It was also revealed that these students, aged between 23 and 24, come from economically weaker sections of the society and were forced to pay anywhere between Rs 60,000 and Rs 1.20 lakh for courses that were for a duration of 6-12 months.
A case has now been registered against Ahmed and further probe is on.
Students detail their ordeal
The students had earlier told IBT India that the college had promised them suitable jobs at the time of admission itself. The only condition that the college had was that these pupils had to complete an internship at the RK Academy in Malviyanagar, Delhi, and another one in Rajouri Garden run by a Mukesh Kakkar.
As the college and its promise appeared legitimate, many parents are said to have gone out of their way to ensure that their children are enrolled in Ahmed's International College of Aviation. However, the reality turned out to be what nightmares are made of.
"I can't even muster the courage tell my poor parents — who struggled to pay my fee — that I might have been duped," a student told IBT India, while another added: "My parents sold the only piece of land we had in Kashmir to pay Rs 1.2 lakh as fees to the ICA. Thinking I would get a job."
What Ahmed had said
Earlier, Ahmed had denied all the accusations and said that the college never promised the students a job. "What we gave them was a 'selection letter'. We did not promise a job to the students who enrolled in ICA. The ones who have completed 10+2 are eligible for in-flight and ground services jobs. What can we do if the students lack basic communication skills?" he told IBT India.