Kashmir doc molested by ex-minister frets cover-up, no court relief for accused
A woman doctor who has accused former Jammu and Kashmir minister of state for health Shabir Khan of sexual assaul reveals that attempts are being made to defame her and cover up the case.chandigarh Updated: Feb 10, 2014 19:09 IST
The woman doctor who has accused former Jammu and Kashmir minister of state for health Shabir Khan of sexually assaulting her said on Monday that attempts are being made to defame her and cover up the case.
"Some people are defaming my character and disclosing my identity, which is against Supreme Court guidelines. Not only my identity was disclosed but the events were discussed negatively, which meant rubbing salt into my wounds," said the doctor in a letter.
The letter was read out by representatives of several doctors' and health employees' associations in Srinagar.
Khan has been evading arrest despite a non-bailable warrant issued by a Srinagar court two days ago, with critics accusing the government of shielding the accused.
"I deplore the news item wherein some leader unfortunately defamed my character. It is derogatory and malicious remarks. Such statements are meant to weaken my case and instill confusion such reports could provide reprieve and escape route to the guilty," she alleged.
The doctor said she has stood up and filed the complaint so that women feel safe at their workplace.
"I firmly stand by my complaint and am looking forward to delivery of justice. I appeal all to repose trust in the institutions of justice and stay away from politicising the issue," she said.
Meanwhile, chief judicial magistrate Srinagar rejected Khan's application for anticipatory bail and instead asked the government to file objections. The government counsel said the objections would be filed soon.
As Khan continued to evade arrest, the police would now have to take Assembly speaker Mubarak Gul's permission for his arrest. The police had raided three places including the former minister's official residence in Jammu on Sunday.
Since Khan is an MLA, he would be protected by the privileges rule of the state legislature when the assembly is in session.
"The government is out to protect the ex-minister, otherwise how is it possible that he can't be arrested," said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.
Various doctors associations and medical employees' confederation called for an immediate arrest of the accused.
"This evil mind should be out behind the bars as soon as possible," said J&K Medical Employees Confederation's head Khursheed Ahmad.
The body has issued a protest for the next 24 hours.
"We will work for an extra hour as mark of protest. However, if the culprit is not arrested we will be forced to hit the streets. A fresh protest calendar will be issued if justice is delayed in the case," said a spokesman of the association.
The accused, who is a Congress MLA from Rajouri in Jammu, had resigned on February 8 after his party asked him to do so.
The J&K police filed a case of molestation against Khan on last Thursday only after a local court intervened.
The doctor, working in a hospital in the Valley alleged that she got repeated calls from the minister's office to come to the secretariat on the pretext of discussing the announcements by Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad during his recent visit to Srinagar.
She alleged she was made to wait inside a cubicle and the minister joined her there and passed objectionable remarks and made sexual advances.