J&K sex scandal resurfaces to scald Omar, Farooq

Two Congress leaders and former ministers Ghulam Ahmad Mir and Raman Mattoo had to spend several months in jail after the CBI detected their involvement in the scandal. The CBI also found BSF DIG C K Padhi, senior bureacract Iqbal Khanday, additional advocate general Anil Sethi, among others, mixed up in the scandal.

The scandal was exposed when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the chief minister. At that time, a girl alleged that she had been sexually exploited by a host of politicians, bureaucrats, senior police and security officials after being promised jobs by them. A special police team, constituted after the revelations were made, could make little headway.

Later, when Ghulam Nabi Azad became the chief minister, a CBI probe was ordered. Once the case was handed over to the CBI, a local woman, Sabina, was arrested for allegdly supplying young girls and women to politicians, bureaucrats and senior police and security officials. Several arrests were made on the basis of Sabina’s statements.

Subsequently, the Kashmir Bar Association approached the Jammu and Kashmir HC, praying that it should monitor the investigations. The accused moved the SC urging it to shift the case from J&K as they were not getting lawyers to defend their cases. The Supreme Court ordered shifting the case to Chandigarh where the arrested persons got bail. Ghulam Ahmad Mir was re-elected to the Assembly in last year’s polls and even Khanday was reinstated.  On Tuesday, senior PDP legislator, Muzaffar Hussain Beig, caused a storm in the J&K Assembly when he said that Omar Abdullah’s name was at serial number 102 in the CBI’s list of persons involved in the scandal. He forwarded a copy of the “list” to Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone and demanded Abdullah’s resignation as he had no moral authority to rule the state. Subsequently, Abdullah announced his resignation.

Beig claimed that the list was submitted by the CBI to a division bench of the High Court after the arrest of certain persons who figured in the first list. “The division bench gave a split verdict.

One judge said the CBI must investigate the involvement of the persons mentioned in the list independently, while the second judge observed that the court must monitor the investigations,” he said. The PDP leader alleged that even former chief minister and NC president Farooq Abdullah was involved in the scandal as his name also figured the list.

DH News Service

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