Jammu: The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday staged a walkout from Legislative Assembly to protest transfer of a police officer investigating the alleged molestation attempt on a lady doctor by former Minister of State for Health Shabir Ahmad Khan.
As soon as the proceedings started, PDP legislators led by their party president Mehbooba Mufti stood up and questioned the government for transferring Station House Officer (SHO) of police station Shaheed Gunj, Srinagar, who was investigating Khan’s case.
“The SHO was seriously investigating Shabir Khan’s case without taking any side. He was deliberately transferred by government to lead investigation in their own way,” said Mehbooba.
Speaker, Mubarak Gul, in his reply said the case was sub-judice and that the House can’t do anything about it. “Don’t disturb the House and let the question hour proceed,” he said.
In reaction, PDP legislators tried to step into the well while raising anti-government slogans. They were joined by CPI (M)’s Yousuf Tarigami, People’s Democratic Front’s Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen and Engineer Abdul Rashid, who also trooped into the well.
“This is not the question of mere transfer of any police officer but about credible investigation of the case as well. We want government to come clean on it,” said Tarigami.
The Speaker in his reply said the transfer of the police officer was “usual administrative work, not a deliberate move.”
Later, the agitating PDP legislators staged a walkout from the House while Rashid continued with his protest after jumping into the well.
“I want to know from the government that why does not it take action against Khan,” said Rashid. He accused government of playing with the dignity and honour of the people by not taking any action against Khan.
As Speaker asked the House to continue with the question hour, Rashid kept on shouting. On this Speaker ordered the marshals to take him out of the House.“He always disrupts the House which can’t be tolerated. Take him out of the House,” the Speaker said.
Later, talking to reporters outside the House, Mehbooba said that by transferring the investigating officer, government wants to prove that “it is powerful and can get away with anything.”
“The sudden transfer of the police officer is deliberate move to scuttle investigation for which state Home Department headed by Chief Minister is responsible,” Mehbooba added.
She said the transfer of an officer was expected from the government as it managed to save its ministers involved in different scams by making similar moves.
“Chief Minister even managed to give himself a clean-chit in the death of Haji Yousuf at his residence,” said Mehbooba. She said the government “shielded Khan from the beginning” and did not arrest him till he managed to get bail from the court.
“The police did not register FIR against Khan until the lady doctor did not get directions from court. Later such a case was filed against him for which he could get his bail easily,” said Mehbooba.
She said her party took action against its members whose name appeared in the 2006 sex scandal case, and same way Congress party should have taken action against Khan.
“Why are there two different parameters to deal with the cases of Shabir Khan and Tarun Tejpal (former Tehelka editor),” asked Mehbooba.
Khan is accused of molesting the female doctor in his office chamber in Srinagar on January 28, but he resigned from ministry and went into hiding to evade his arrest after a case was registered against him.
He presented himself before the police after he got bail orders from the court following which police gave him permission to attend the Assembly proceedings.