|Srinagar, June 29
Continuing its probe into the sex racket that has rocked Jammu and Kashmir, the CBI arrested senior IAS officer Iqbal Khandey and a hotel-owner here today for allegedly procuring girls for prostitution.
The CBI picked up Khandey, a 1978 batch officer of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre, from his residence and placed him under arrest after questioning him briefly, CBI sources said.
Khandey was posted as Principal Secretary (Planning) in the state government. He was earlier Principal Secretary to former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.
He was arrested on the basis of a statement by Sabeena, the alleged kingpin of the racket, that was corroborated by another woman named Yasmeena, the sources said.
Riaz Kawa, the owner of Naaz hotel, was the second person arrested by the CBI.
Khandey was booked under Section 5 of the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act for procuring girls for prostitution. A person convicted under this section faces a prison term of three months or a fine of Rs 20,000 or both.
He will be produced before a designated court tomorrow during which the CBI will seek his remand for custodial interrogation.
Fourteen persons have been arrested so far in connection with the racket that sparked widespread protests in the Kashmir Valley last month.
The sources said Kawa had
allegedly allowed his hotel to be used as a place for prostitution besides
himself exploiting the women. He was arrested under Sections 3 and 5 of
the ITPA, they said.
9 chargesheeted in sex
The CBI had to file the chargesheet before the expiry of the stipulated period of 60 days as the agency had made its first arrest on April 29. Filing of the chargesheet within the mandatory period is essential failing which those arrested in the case could get bail from the courts.
In a related case, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, also extended by three days (till June 27) the CBI remand for two MLAs and former ministers, Raman Matto and Ghulam Ahmad Mir, who are allegedly involved in the scandal. They were produced in the court by the CBI here today.
Raman Mattoo had been arrested from his Gupkar residence here, while Mir had been arrested from New Delhi by the CBI.
All nine persons, against whom chargesheets were filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate today, have been sent to the Srinagar Central Jail till July 7.
They, include DIG BSF, K.S Padhi; Deputy SP of Jammu and Kashmir Police Mohammad Ashraf; former Additional Advocate General of the State High Court Anil Sethi; the alleged kingpin Sabina, and Abdul Hameed Bulla, Shabir Kala, Merajuddin, Shabir Langoo and Maqsood Ahmad.
The nine accused have been booked for rape, procuring girls for prostitution, conspiracy under Sections 376, 292, 304, 305 and 306 of the RPC and under Sections 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA).
Meanwhile, Valley Citizen’s Council, today expressed concern over the “falling social and moral values in society” particularly the involvement of people’s representatives in the alleged sex scandal in Jammu and Kashmir. It has sought measures to curb the menace and sought the expulsion of the two MLAs and former ministers— Raman Mattoo and Ghulam Ahmad Mir— from the Assembly. The Council also hailed the efforts of the state High Court, Bar association and others to eliminate such social evils from society.
The CBI has also informed the court that the MMS, the mobile phone and the VCD had been sent to Andhra Pradesh State Forensic Laboratory for thorough examination.
With Sethi’s surrender, the
CBI had indicated that the agency had completed its investigation into
the allegations made by the minor girl that she was allegedly raped by
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