Srinagar: PDP President Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday demanded probe into a possible "political nexus" in the recently-unearthed question paper scam.
"The investigation must look beyond Mushtaq Peer (former chairman of the Board of Professional Entrance Examinations) to find out facts about possible political connections to the scandal," Mehbooba said, addressing public rallies in Baramulla district.
"The startling facts reported so far are sufficient to suggest that Peer was handpicked for BOPEE job, given subsequent extensions and re-employed with full knowledge about his shady past and activities as the head of BOPEE," she said.
The PDP President alleged that refusal to take responsibility for the acts of omissions and commissions of the government has become part of a "defence mechanism" of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
The PDP leader said the BOPEE scandal was reported by the media immediately after the results of the 2012 Common Entrance Test (CET) were declared.
"But instead of taking immediate action, the government gave an extension of two months to Peer, obviously to ensure that conspiracy involving the sale of papers was taken to logical conclusion, and also to oversee the admission of the tainted students," she alleged.
"Not only this, Peer was later given the charge of the so-called fast track recruitment process in spite of the BOPEE scandal having come into the public domain," she said.
Mehbooba questioned the "arbitrary" method of re-employment and selection to sensitive and senior positions, saying the re-employment of retired persons has itself assumed the dimensions of a "mega scandal".
Crime Branch of the J&K Police is investigating the scam after a written complaint was received earlier this year that 12 students had qualified the CET in 2012 by purchasing the question papers from a syndicate, that included some officials who were close Peer.
Peer was arrested by the Crime Branch last week following questioning and recovery of incriminating documents from the raids conducted at his residents in Jammu and Srinagar.