J&K Police Uncover 'truth' About BJP's 'abduction' Story29 January 2011
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir police on Saturday claimed it had foiled a BJP plan to allegedly defame the state by stage-managing the “abduction and torture” of a woman leader of the party. Police said the “plan was hatched” in the backdrop of the BJP’s proposed but aborted flag-hoisting at Lal Chowk. Srinagar Senior superintendent of police Syed Ashiq Bukhari presented before the media Haleema Begum, 35, a resident of the northern frontier town of Uri, after recording her statement before a magistrate. Police said the mobile call records and tower details of her SIM cards didn’t support her version of the story. “She told us that when she was kidnapped in Budgam on January 24, she dropped her mobile phone with Showkat Ahmad, the driver of the vehicle in which she was travelling. But the mobile call details show she was in Bemina (in Srinagar district) and during the coming four days she changed three SIM cards. We have also recorded the statement of the lady with whom she stayed during these days,” Bukhari said. The woman on Friday had gone the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital in Srinagar with “her hair cut and some injury marks on her body”. She complained of being abducted and tortured for being a “BJP leader”. “She had said that the abductors threatened her by saying she must leave BJP; else she will be killed. But after investigations we found her claims false. After medically examining her, the doctors told us that she had no visible injury marks on her body and the burn marks were old,” Bukhari said. The woman has been associated with the women’s wing of the BJP and had unsuccessfully contested the assembly election in Uri in 2008 on a BJP ticket. Bukhari said “her plan was to sensationalise the issue and start a Shopian-type agitation in Jammu”. While accepting that she hatched the plan, Haleema Begum said that no other BJP leader was involved in the matter. J&K BJP president Shamsher Singh Manhas denied all allegations, saying police had extracted her statement under pressure. “She is a staunch BJP worker and the police, which is a puppet of the current government, might have threatened her. The government wanted to crush the (BJP’s) flag yatra and manipulated the administration,” he said.