Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SEX SCANDAL:Valley starts burning again, Jammu continues to suffers

*Ruckus continues in the House during 2nd session

*Omar stays away from Assembly, Secretariat

*Assembly cannot hold its session: BJP

*BJP & PP unite over ‘discrimination’ against Jammu

*Separate Assembly for Jammu region demanded

*CM not charge sheeted by CBI: Speaker

*Privilege motion admitted against Baig

*NC-PDP workers clash on streets

*NC workers want Baig behind the bars

*Mehbooba tore copies of the CBI document

*Mehbooba for judicial probe in Omar’s ‘involvement’

Ajmer Alam Wani

JAMMU, JULY 29: The infamous sex scandal that had already rocked the entire Kashmir Valley in the year 2006, inflicting huge losses to the common Kashmiri, who struggles for the day-to-day livelihood, seems started breathing again. While the Jammu region which has to strike hard every time to get its voice hear, is suffering badly as the Assembly proceedings remained dominated with the issues pertaining Kashmir region and the voice of Jammu people through (MLAs) seems echoing in the Assembly House where the present government as well as the opposition seems, interested more in creating confusions instead doing state welfare and deliberating on the issues of public importance.

The spark that was lit by the Opposition PDP by dragging the name of Chief Minister (CM) Omar Abdullah in the list of suspects involved in the 2006 sex scandal that snowballed into a massive racket that allegedly involved two ministers of the then Congress-PDP government, senior police and paramilitary officers and influential businessmen, if not handled carefully will engulf the entire state this time. The reason this time is that in the year 2006, issue and the sentiments same but the exploiters of the situation were few but this time exploiters are many which could worsen the situation than that of 2006.

Relevant to mention here that forty-three women, including a minor, were being allegedly exploited by the powerful establishment, which later prompted violent protests with mainstream and separatist groups joining hands.

If this issue is not handled and settled at the earliest, the recent Shopian rape and murder case is likely to add as fuel to fire as the Opposition PDP is already accusing NC lead Coalition Govt of shielding the perpetrator of Shopian rape and murder case.

The beginning in this direction has been made by the political activists of both National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

On the other hand Jammu region is bracing up to intensify the agitation over the shifting of Central University issue in a big way.

It was expected, as the crisis failed to settle down in the state Assembly the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) on Wednesday got united over the issue of ‘discrimination’ against Jammu. Both the parties demanded a separate Assembly for the region.

"We have come here for a purpose to take up the issues and problems of the people we represent. Our areas and the people in general are confronted with various issues but the House is not being allowed to run,” JKNPP leader, Balwant Singh Mankotia told reporters in the Assembly lawns.

“NC, PDP and Congress have to settle their scores. But why should other people suffer. The House is not being allowed to run, hence our demand for separate Assembly for Jammu is justified," he said.

Earlier as the house witnessed noisy scenes today, JKNPP and BJP members stood united and made a demand for a separate Assembly for Jammu.

Jammu region is suffering because not a single issue of the region has been taken up during the last three days,” the BJP MLAs shouted. "Close this House and give us a separate Assembly,” the members demanded

MEANWHILE: Chief Minister (CM) Omar Abdullah preferred to stay away from the proceedings of the House in the morning session. Omar also choose not to attend the Civil Secretariat as well.

The session that was believed to be replica of the earlier sessions began on a high note with National Conference (NC) legislators demanding that a privilege motion be moved against PDP senior leader Muzaffar Hussain Beigh.

As the Assembly proceedings started today morning, BJP members argued that the Assembly could not hold its session as there was no government in place following the CM’s resignation.

“There is no government in place and the Assembly cannot hold its session like this,” the BJP members shouted.

Interestingly, all the ministers of the coalition government remained present during Wednesday’s morning session; however, Abdullah stayed away.

Omar who resigned on Tuesday, after PDP senior leader Muzaffar Hussain Beigh alleged Omar of being an accused in the case prepared by the CBI during its investigations into the infamous sex scandal case. According to the PDP leader, Abdullah’s name was 102nd in the list.

Following the charge, a visibly upset Omar Abdullah said he will quit as the charge leveled against him raised a question over his character.

Omar later submitted his conditional resignation to the governor NN Vohra asking him to probe the incident and accept his resignation in case he is proven guilty.

However, Speaker, Legislative Assembly Mohammad Akbar Lone today informed the House that the Chief Minister, Mr. Omar Abdullah does not figure among those charge sheeted by CBI in connection with sexploitation case as alleged by PDP MLA Muzaffar Hussain Baig.

The Speaker issued the clarification after BJP MLA; Professor Chaman Lal Gupta raised the issue in the Legislative Assembly today.

The Speaker said that soon after Mr. Baig leveled allegation against the Chief Minister in the House yesterday, he took up the matter with Director, CBI and sought written clarification about the matter.

The clarification issued by the CBI reads as: “It is clarified that nine charge sheets in CBI case RC 1 (s)/2006/SCR. III New Delhi were filed in the competent court against 17 accused persons. The name of Shri Omar Abdullah son of Shri Farooq Abdullah does not figure in the list of accused persons charge sheeted in the case”.

Soon after Speaker Muhammad Akbar Lone read the CBI letter, PDP members, led by Mufti, tore copies of the document and demanded 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 (HC) judgment delivered in the case in 2007 by Justice Bashir Ahmad Kirmani.

Meanwhile, the Speaker announced receipt and admission of privilege motion against PDP MLA Muzaffar Hussain Baig for leveling allegations against the Chief Minister in violation of proper procedures and set business rules.

The motion has been moved by 12 MLAs including Abdul Rahim Rather, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Mubarak Gul, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, G. M. Saroori, Nazir Ahmad Gurezi, Raman Bhalla, T. Namgyal, Feroz Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Yaseen and Nasir Aslam Wani.

The Speaker said the Assembly will continue its business, as Governor the highest constitutional authority in the State has informed him that the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah shall continue to run the government. The Governor has not accepted the resignation of the Chief Minister yet. He is collecting the necessary documents for making final decision, he said.

MEANWHILE: From the floor of the House the war of words between the two regional parties--National Conference and Peoples Democratic party has now reached on to the streets of Jammu and Kashmir.

A day after high drama surrounding resignation of CM Omar Abdullah workers of both the regional parties clashed with each other on the streets of Srinagar in downtown area and in Jammu National Conference (NC) leaders organized a day long hunger strike demanding arrest of former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig for making false allegations against the youngest CM of the state.

NC workers also targeted business establishment owned by a senior PDP leader Moulvi Iftikhar Ansari and ransacked the office.

Led by Provincial President of the Jammu Province, Rattan Lal Gupta and its Women Wing Chief Laxmi Dutta large number of NC leaders and workers participated in the day long hunger strike at Shahidi Chowk. Holding placards ' Down with Mehbooba Mufti, Arrest Muzaffar Baig’ NC workers and party leaders also shouted slogans against the PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti and former Deputy Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, state police had to lob tear gas shells to disperse the clashing workers of both the Kashmir based political parties in downtown area of Srinagar city. The National Conference workers also paraded a stray dog with a picture of Muzaffar Hussain Baig pasted on its face on the streets of Srinagar in protest against the false allegations levelled against their leader.

The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly witnessed ruckus in the afternoon session on the third day Wednesday as the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party MLA’s staged a walkout.

As soon as the house assembled again the speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone asked the legislators to offer their co-operation in running the business of the house.

“We all need to co-operate so that the House transacts its routine business,” Lone told the MLAs. He said that various issues of public importance need immediate hearing and the members of the House have to act in a responsible way.

Lone requesting the members to let the House continue its business asked PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beigh to speak in the House. However, the Treasury Bench members offered stiff resistance and did not allow the PDP leader to speak in the House.

“A privilege motion has been moved against the PDP leader. How can he speak in the house,” NC leader, Nasir Sogami replied to the speaker.

As the commotion in the house reached its zenith the Speaker asked the legislators to respond to his calls.

“We all decided in a meeting held today that we will let the house function. But the way the members of the opposition are reacting to things the House cannot function,” Lone said. Lone’s stamen triggered another round of verbal attacks from the PDP.

“If you want the house to carry out its usual business then you should first clarify over the letter which has been claimed to be written by the Director of CBI,” Mehbooba Mufti said. She said that if NC wants to come clean over the issue they should get the case dairies of the sex scandal case tabled in the House.

“If you have the courage then table the case dairies along with the list from C1 to C192 signed by the main accused Sabina,” Mehbooba told the Treasury Benches before announcing a walkout from the Assembly.

Earlier, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday demanded a judicial probe into the ‘involvement’ of CM Omar Abdullah in the sex scandal case that rocked the state in 2006. Mehbooba alleged that the CBI is aiding the CM and is trying to cover up the case.

The Assembly witnessed pandemonium again on Wednesday as the PDP members demanded a high-level probe into the 2006 sex scandal.

“We demand a judicial probe into the 2006 sex scandal case as the premier investigating agency CBI is trying to cover up the scandal and is shielding Omar Abdullah,” PDP President Mehbooba Mufti said after the speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone read out the CBI communiqué that was forwarded to him by a senior official of the agency.

As the speaker tabled the report PDP members stood up and raised a hue and cry over the issue.

“The CBI is trying to shield the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and the Union Minister Farooq Abdullah over their involvement in the case,” the PDP members alleged.

Raising slogans against the government the PDP members demanded a judicial probe into the sex scandal case. “The entire issue needs a thorough probe so that all facts come to the fore,” they demanded.

As the assembly was witnessing uproarious scenes, Mehbooba Mufti tore the letter that was sent by the CBI proving Omar’s innocence into the sex scandal.

“The CBI probe is not acceptable to us,” Mehbooba said.

Unable to control the uproar in the Assembly the speaker adjourned the house for 15 minutes; however, the scene was no different when the House resumed its business.