Govt shields Director, may attach him till inquiry is completed

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, June 9: Government is shielding accused Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman, against whom a case was registered last week after a Nurse lodged an attempt to rape complaint with Police in Srinagar while voices for removal and arrest of the accused go louder.
Sources said that the Director was asked to write a letter seeking his attachment till the inquiry is completed in the attempt to rape complaint against him. As the Government is facing heat over siding with the accused officials, the Director may be attached till the inquiry is completed.
In the meantime, Police’s controversial statements about the negation of attempt of rape charges against the Director and 3 other officials of the department came a day before the “witnesses” statements were recorded. The victim, however, alleged that the attempt to rape by the Director on him took place in Chief Accounts Officer’s Office which is located in another floor where these officials were not present.
Police on Friday evening soon after handing over an FIR copy to the victim issued a statement negating the allegations of the victim. Sources said that in order to give a clean chit to accused Health Department officials, Police statement issued said: “Scene of incident was visited by the police, and statements of some eyewitnesses were also recorded which prima facie, negates the allegations.”
However, police recorded the statements of the eight witnesses on Saturday, 18 hours after the clean chit statement. Police recorded statements of Dr Abdul Rehman, Surgeon CHC Hajin, Dr. Bashir Ahmad Assistant Director Health, Dr. Anjum Divisional Nutrition Officer, Dr Fayaz Ahmad Deputy Director Dentistry, Manzoor Ahmad Assistant Accounts Officer, Dr G A Wani State T.B. Officer, Dr Mehraj Medical Officer Shopian and Zamir Ahmad who had supplied CCTV to the Department.
Police recorded the statement for about two hours but surprisingly, the BMO Pampore Dr Bilquees, who was also present in the meeting, was not called for recording the statement about the incident.
Sources said that a senior officer of the police department on Thursday had given verbal directions to the investigators that the issue should be resolved without lodging an FIR. However, one of the officers refused to take such orders and finally Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman was asked to resolve the issue with the Nurse by Friday morning. As the victim refused to make any compromise by rejecting the offer of promotion and other benefits offered by a group of police officers on behalf of the accused, police finally registered the case and copy the FIR was handed over to the victim on Friday evening.
Meanwhile, Kashmir paramedics today gave two day ultimatum to Government to remove the accused Director and other 3 officers against whom rape compliant was lodged by a Nurse. They threatened agitation against Government for shielding the officials.
They shouted slogans against the Director and demanded his arrest and removal. “The Director should be arrested immediately. We appeal the Government to provide justice to the victim, otherwise we will go on an indefinite strike after two days,” president Nurses Association, Syed Rukhsana said.
Rukhsana said the charges need exemplary punishment. “We support the victim. We want justice for the victim,” she said.
Meanwhile, Doctors in SMHS hospital Srinagar suspended work today to protest against the incident and demanded the immediate arrest of those involved in the case.
Doctors Association Kashmir president Nissar-ul-Hassan while addressing the protesters said unless the accused are arrested and given exemplary punishment, the protests would continue.
“The accused must be arrested. They are using their power and influence to save their skin. When an FIR stands registered against the accused then they all should be arrested without any delay. It is irony that Government is not taking action against the accused and Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman and other accused are continue to occupy their posts,” Dr Nissar said.
Over a dozen of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) women workers also held a protest here today. They threatened to launch an agitation against the Omar Abdullah Government if it failed to check crime against women.
“We warn the Government to act immediately and check increasing crime against women, failing which the party will launch an agitation,” Shazia Khan, a BJP worker, told reporters at the Press Enclave. She alleged that the rise in crime against women showed the State Government was insensitive towards safety and security of women.

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