Doctor approached court to get FIR registered against the minister
The Jammu and Kashmir police filed a case of molestation against the state health minister on Thursday only after a local court intervened. According to sources, the lady doctor who alleged that the minister, Shabir Ahmad Khan, made "sexual advances" had approached the police consecutively for three days, but an FIR was not registered.india Updated: Feb 07, 2014 20:29 IST
The Jammu and Kashmir police filed a case of molestation against the state health minister on Thursday only after a local court intervened.
According to sources, the lady doctor who alleged that the minister, Shabir Ahmad Khan, made "sexual advances" had approached the police consecutively for three days, but an FIR was not registered.
Khan resigned on Friday evening. The confirmation came with the state chief minister Omar Abdullah saying that he has accepted the resignation of his minister of state of health.
"I have received the resignation of the minister of state for health Shabir Khan and am forwarding the same to the governor for acceptance," Omar wrote on micro blogging site twitter.
According to sources, Khan had submitted his resignation at 12 pm.
The doctor alleged the incident took place in the minister's office in Srinagar's civil secretariat on January 28.
Khan is a Congress minister in Omar Abdullah's coalition cabinet.
Police registered an FIR only at 10 pm on Thursday after directions from chief judicial magistrate Rajiv Gupta.
Speaking to media in Srinagar, Opposition leader and People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti called the incident "outrageous" and demanded resignation from chief minister Omar Abdullah on "moral grounds".
"It is outrageous that the woman had to seek intervention from the court to get an FIR registered, after being repeatedly turned down by the police. I salute her courage that she carried her fight ahead," Mufti said.
"After this, the chief minister has no reason to be in office and should resign on moral grounds," she added.
In her complaint, the lady doctor, working in one of the hospitals in the valley, had alleged that she got repeated calls from the minister's office to come to the secretariat in Srinagar.
According to the complainant, the minister had called her to his chamber on the pretext of knowing the details of the announcement made by Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad during his visit to Srinagar.
She alleged that she was made to wait inside a cubicle and the minister joined her there, made advances and passed objectionable remarks. She was even asked to come to the minister's Srinagar residence and serve kehwa, a local drink.
Police, however, denied the charges and said that FIR was lodged after preliminary investigations, at Srinagar's Shaheed Gunj police station under several Sections of the IPC, including non-bailable Section 509 and 354 for outraging the modesty of a woman
Meanwhile, the state unit of the Congress party has asked Khan to resign after he was booked on molestation charges.
"Law will take its own course but the Congress has asked minister of state for health Shabir Khan to resign pending inquiry," JKPCC spokesman Ravinder Sharma told reporters in Srinagar.
The instructions have come from JKPCC chief Saifuddin Soz.
Meanwhile, the employees at the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) have suspended work, demanding an impartial inquiry into the sexual assault case. Calling the case "highly shameful", the employees demanded immediate resignation of Khan.
Meanwhile, the Doctors Association Kashmir, led by its president Dr Nisar ul Hassan, said that all doctors would go on strike on Saturday to protest against the incident.
"Such incidents are intolerable," he said.
Police official's statment
A police official said, "On February 6, at about 1 pm, one complainant visited Shaheed Gunj police station, and handed over a written complaint addressed to SHO Shaheed Gunj, wherein it was alleged by the complainant that minister of state for health Shabir Ahmad Khan made "provocative advances" towards her and tried to molest her on January 28 at civil secretariat in a room adjacent to his office chamber."
"On this, the police lodged FIR no 09 U/S 354, 509 RPC dated February 6, and investigation has been taken up," he added.
First Published: Feb 07, 2014 20:26 IST