Kashmir's own version of 'Who wants to become a millionaire?' ( Kaun Banega Crorepati) has apparently turned into a money minting opportunity for scamsters victimising poor families in the conflict-hit region.
A daily wager, Abdul Majeed, who hails from border Kupwara district of North Kashmir sold his entire savings worth Rs 23 lakh and gave the money to fraudsters dreaming he will earn Rs 1 crore, as per the KBC programme. The KBC programme, aired by the state-owned Doordarshan channel in J&K, was reportedly an idea floated by the Home Ministry to promote "peace and patriotism" in the region.
The programme, popularly known as Kashur KBC, soon turned into a new sensation among the people, many of whom are participating in the contest. However, for the poor Abdul Majid, the dream of turning fortunes for his family has become a nightmare after his son was fooled by one Vijay Kumar, who called himself as an employee with the KBC show and asked the family to deposit money in various bank accounts registered with the State Bank of India, the Kashmir Crown reported.
The gullible people gradually began to believe him and sold their land, the only house and other belongings to deposit Rs 23 lakhs in various bank accounts operating under different peoples names. "They were, in turn, promised an Rs1.5 crore which hasn't happened till now. It later occurred to them that the whole exercise was a fraud to loot naive people like them under the grab of KBC," Abdul Majeed's neighbour said.
Abdul Majeed's son who was interacting with the fraudster over Whatsapp eventually confronted him over a phone call, but the said person refused to share details on when they would send them their hard earned money. The poor family is living under open skies now and has no money left to even eat. Their neighbours have however come to their rescue and demanded an enquiry into the whole episode.
KBC which started aired on DD Kashmir, last month has drawn immense participation from every corner of the state and there were reportedly 15,000 participants from among 1 lakh registrations who had to clear a written test for the final round. The final contestants were later taken to New Delhi from where the programme is being telecast.
The Doordarshan channel has hired fresh media graduates from Kashmir and other people working in the Hindi film industry who are working in the production team of Kashur KBC. Anybody who could speak the Kashmiri language was eligible to contest the KBC contest.