Tainted ex-minister surrenders

Turns himself in after HC order, faces sexual harassment charge

Tainted former Health Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Shabir Ahmad Khan, accused by a female doctor of sexual harassment, surrendered before police on Thursday, a day after High Court directed him to present himself before the Investigation Officer by Thursday evening.

Reports said, Khan reached Shaheed Ganj police station amid tight security to appear before the Investigating Officer. “He is being questioned over his alleged involvement in the case and most probably will be allowed to leave the police station after filing bail bond,” a senior police officer told Deccan Herald.

In the interim direction on the bail plea by Khan the High Court had directed the Investigating Officer to release the accused against a personal and surety bonds, if he is arrested. “The petitioner shall keep available himself for investigation/ interrogation at concerned police station by Friday evening. In case IO arrests him, he shall be released by furnishing personal bond along with surety in the amount of Rs 25000 each,” the court had ordered on Wednesday.

The anticipatory bail application of Khan would be taken up for hearing by the High Court on February 18.

A woman doctor had accused Khan of sexual assault inside his office chamber at the Civil Secretariat here on January 28. A First Information Report was registered against the accused on February 6 following a direction from the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Srinagar.The accused resigned from the council of ministers on February 7 and could not be traced since then. Police had formed a special team but was not able to arrest him.

Earlier, Khan who landed in Srinagar via SpiceJet airlines told reporters at a Government Guest House here that he was innocent and would cooperate with the investigation. However, he had no answer when reporters asked him why he was evading arrest and was absconding. 

“Who told you I was hiding, I was in touch with media and my statements appeared in a section of newspapers. I talked to some media men on telephone and was not at large,” he said.

“It is conspiracy against me. The charges leveled against me are frivolous and false. I am innocent. I am hopeful that court will do justice. On the directions of court I will record my statement before the investigating team. Secretariat is a public place and I repeat that charges against me are baseless and does not carry any weight,” the accused politician said.

Pertinently, the victim doctor had also filed compliant against some media houses and journalists who had disclosed her identity.

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