PDP rips CBI clean chit to Omar; NC guns for Baig
Opposition PDP today rejected the clean chit given by CBI to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in the 2006 sex scandal case and demanded a judicial probe into the issue.india Updated: Jul 29, 2009 16:51 IST
Armed with a clean chit from the CBI, Jammu and Kashmir's ruling National Conference on Wednesday decided to move a breach of privilege motion against Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig who had alleged that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was involved in a sex scandal.
Law Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar told the speaker of the assembly that the PDP member had made a false accusation against the chief minister and the NC would move a breach of privilege motion against him.
Earlier, Speaker Muhammad Akbar Lone read a letter sent by the Central Bureau of Investigation to the state assembly secretariat. It said Abdullah, who submitted his resignation after the allegations rocked the house on Tuesday, had not been involved in the sex scandal investigated by the agency.
Tempers ran high on Wednesday too, with PDP members tearing copies of the CBI letter and demanding a judicial probe into the chief minister's alleged involvement. They said his name had figured in the "shame list" that was part of the high court judgement delivered in the case in 2007 by Justice Bashir Ahmad Kirmani.
When the assembly proceedings started, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members argued that the assembly could not hold its session as there was no government in place following the chief minister's resignation.
While all ministers of the coalition government were present during today's session, Abdullah stayed away.
On Tuesday, Baig had submitted a list of what he said were the accused in the case prepared by the CBI. According to the PDP leader, Abdullah's name was 102nd in the list.
Following the charge, a visibly upset Abdullah said in the house that he was guilty until proven innocent and submitted his resignation to Governor N.N. Vohra Tuesday but was asked to stay on.
The sensational sex scandal broke in April 2006 after police discovered two VCDs showing Kashmiri women being sexually exploited. It snowballed into a massive racket that allegedly involved two ministers of the then Congress-PDP government, senior police and paramilitary officers and influential businessmen.
Forty-three women, including a minor, were being allegedly exploited by the powerful establishment, prompting violent protests with mainstream and separatist groups joining hands.
Following the public outrage, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court intervened and directed the CBI to handle the probe. The CBI later presented a chargesheet and a trial is underway at a sessions court in Punjab.
The CBI had arrested G.M. Mir and Raman Mattoo, both ministers in the then Congress-PDP government, besides Iqbal Khandey, the former principal secretary to then chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.