August 2006 News

4 more arrested in sex scam

5 August 2006
The Daily Excelsior

Srinagar: A local court today remanded four people into three-day CBI remand for their alleged involvement in the sex racket which rocked the Kashmir valley in April this year. With this a total of 18 people, including two former minister and sitting legislators Ghulam Ahmad Mir and Raman Mattoo, senior IAS officer Iqbal Khanday, former Additional Advocate General Anil Sethi, a BSF DIG and a police officer besides kingpin Sabeena and her husband, were arrested. Official sources said the CBI arrested Asrar Ahmad, a head constable, Altaf Hussain, a hospital employee, Ajaz Ahmad Bhat, a medical shop owner, and Hilal Ahmad Shah, manager of a local hotel, after their name figured among the list provided by Sabeena, the kingpin yesterday. The CBI presented them in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Mohammad Yousuf Akhoon today who remanded him into three days CBI custody. Sources said the four were identified by Sabeena and other victims before they were formally taken into custody by the CBI after their questioning. The CBI has already filed two charge sheets in the court of CJM. However, the CJM transferred the case to Sessions Court for further hearing after the CBI filed the first charge sheet. Meanwhile, alleged kingpin of the sex racket Sebeena, today tore the copy of the second chargesheet after it was handed over to her by the CBI in a court here. Sabeena tore copy of the chargesheet in the court of CJM M Y Akhoon and said 'how many chargesheets you want to give?' She was joined by her husband Hameed Bhulla but were whisked away by the police personnel, who were escorting them and other accused, to the Central jail. While being taken away, Bhulla alleged they were being made 'scapegoats' in the case. The copies of the chargesheet were handed over to senior IAS officer M Iqbal Khanday, hotel manager Riyaz Ahmad Kawa and Deputy Superintendent of Police M Yousuf Mir. Two former ministers G A Mir and Raman Mattoo were given the copies of the chargesheet yesterday when they were presented before the CJM Srinagar for extension to their remand in judicial custody. The Judge also transferred the case along with the bail applications of the accused to Principal Sessions and District Judge M Yaqoob Mir, who is already hearing the first chargesheet against nine persons. Former Additional Advocate General (AAG) Anil Sethi and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Border Security Force (BSF) K C Padhi filed a fresh bail application in the court of CJM today while other sex accused sought more time to engage lawyers. The two accused filed fresh bail application before the CJM with additional grounds. The bail applications were listed for objections on August 8, 2006. Padhi has requested the court that he may be provided a copy of the statement of witness under section 161 Cr.PC. Sethi has filed four names of advocate before the court to plead his case. However, three of them have not responded while advocate L K Share has declined to appear for the accused. Similarly Padhi has given the name of advocate K S Johar who too has refused to appear for the accused. The other accused who also appeared before the court in person under very tight security arrangements, sought some more time so that they could engage the lawyers who could plead their cases. The main case was listed on August 17, 2006. On the directions from the Kashmir Bar Association (KBA), no lawyer is ready to plead the case of the sex accused, including two former minister and sitting legislators Ghulam Ahmad Mir and Raman Mattoo, a senior IAS officer, AAG Sethi, DIG, BSF, a police officer and 12 others. The CBI has submitted two challans against the accused in the court. The court deferred the hearing of bail applications of two persons arrested in connection with the sex racket till August 8. Sessions Judge M Yaqoob Mir deferred the hearing of the bail applications of Deputy Superintendent of Police M Ashraf Mir and Meharajuddin Malik till Tuesday after defence counsel Moulvi Aijaz pleaded their case. Aijaz, who is appearing as amicus curae in the case, pleaded that his clients be released on bail as the age of the girl who was allegedly raped by them was more than that stated by the CBI in its chargesheet. He produced in court some documents procured from Lalla Ded Maternity Hospital to prove his point. Citing a ruling of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in 1953, Aijaz said a division bench had then set aside rape charges against the accused as the victim had consented to the sexual act and was more than 14 years of age. He said since the minor victim in the present case was not forced into the act, there was no case against his clients. The court later began in-camera hearing of the first chargesheet filed by the CBI against nine persons.

 

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