Anantnag: Police here in Pahalgam in Anantnag district have booked local lawmaker Altaf Kuloo of the National Conference (NC) for “criminal intimidation” and “assault” against a public servant.
The FIR, dated April 28 and bearing number 34 under sections 353, 506 and 427 of the RPC, was lodged by Pahalgam police against the lawmaker on the basis of a complaint lodged by a Wakf Board employee, Abdul Waheed Bhat of Aishmuqam.
The sections pertain to assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty (353), criminal intimidation (506) and causing ‘mischief and damage’ to amount of Rs 50 or more (427).
A copy of the FIR lies with Kashmir Reader wherein the accusations against the lawmaker are mentioned in detail.
A senior police official from Pahalgam also confirmed that an FIR has been lodged and further investigation has been taken up.
Kashmir Reader talked to Bhat who said that the whole thing started back in March, when the MLA donated some ambulances to health centres in his constituency.
“A Facebook page promoting the MLA posted the news about the donation of ambulances. I commented that the exercise was not a favour and the ambulances have been donated from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF),” Bhat said.
A few hours later, at about midnight, Bhat says he got a call from the MLA on his mobile and the lawmaker used abusive language against him.
“He threatened me and abused me. I was in high fever and hardly grasped whatever he said. But my call recorder was on, and the call luckily got recorded,” Bhat said.
The call wherein the lawmaker abused Bhat went viral on social media.
“He sent some people to pacify me, and I made peace, seeing the futility of taking on a lawmaker,” Bhat said.
But on April 28, Bhat told Kashmir Reader, Kuloo visited his place of work and not only abused him but also smashed two of his mobile phones.
Following the fresh intimidation by the lawmaker, Bhat reached out to the police and complained about the whole thing.
After the police lodged a complaint against Kuloo, he retaliated by lodging a formal complaint against Bhat, against whom an FIR has also been registered.
“The lawmaker has complained that Bhat stopped his vehicle and threatened to kill him. We have lodged an FIR. We are investigating both the cases,” he said.
Terming allegations leveled by Kuloo baseless, Bhat told Kashmir Reader that it was not possible to stop the vehicle of a protected lawmaker.
“Do you think I can dare to stop a vehicle with two police vehicles guarding it in front and in the back?” Bhat asked. “I will leave it at that.”
MLA Kuloo, when contacted by Kashmir Reader, rubbished the allegations against him.
“Let the law take its own course. Truth will come out and prevail,” he said.