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Friday, January 20, 2012

Over a dozen J&K SSPs punished since 1999

IPS, KPS officers faced charges of murder, tampering with evidence, nexus with contract killers, sexual exploitation, drug smuggling, corruption

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jan 19: 1999-batch IPS officer, Anand Jain, who was removed on January 12th as SSP of Jammu and posted Commandant of an IRP battalion in J&K Armed Police on account of the leakage of a confidential communication to media, is not one-odd officer of the Police force punished in the last 13 years. Jain is better placed in the sense that quite a number of IPS and KPS officers in the state are either in jail or out on bail for the last many years while facing serious charges including those of murder and corruption.

Jain had unblemished record of previously working as SSP of Rajouri, Reasi and Baramulla, besides having worked as SP East in Srinagar for around five years. An inquiry conducted by Principal Secretary Home, B R Sharma, held him guilty of carelessness in the leakage that embarrassed a Cabinet Minister in a matter of alleged land grabbing in Jammu.

Jain’s immediate predecessor and year 2000 batch IPS officer Basant Kumar Rath, was unceremoniously removed as SSP in State Vigilance Organisation and attached on November 24th, 2011, when mysterious sources posted a video clipping of the custodial interrogation of an under-trial, Choudhary Nagar Singh, on YouTube. KPS officer of batch 1999, Mubasir Latifi, then posted as SP of Kulgam, was also attached to Police headquarters in the same matter on the same day. Rath and Latifi were identified among the officers interrogating Nagar Singh and purportedly using abusive language against certain politicians. While as Rath functioned as SSP Jammu, Latifi was associated with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) when he was posted as SP Ramban in 2010-11, the period in question.

Rath’s immediate predecessor and KPS officer of 1984/1991, Manohar Singh, was removed as SSP of Jammu, suspended and arrested in September 2009 on the charge of tampering with evidence in a high profile murder case. He was accused of his involvement in facilitating change of weapon of assault in the murder of Amandeep Singh, son of a former female MLC, and thus trying to protect the main accused, Jatinder Singh alias Raja---leading businessman Nagar Singh’s son. Those who were suspended and arrested in the same post-murder crime and have been in jail for the last about two-and-a-half years include then SHO Gandhi Nagar, Inspector Sultan Mirza, Investigating Officer, Sub Inspector Satnam Singh, and FSL official Sarwar Hussain Bukhari.

Manohar Singh, Sultan Mirza, Satnam Singh, Sarwar Bukhari, Basant Rath and Mubasir Latifi are not the only Police officials who have been consumed by this high profile murder case. Superintendent of Udhampur Jail, Mirza Saleem Beg, was arrested on March 24th, 2011, on the charge of facilitating the under-trial Nagar Singh’s conversations and communications with some alleged ‘supari killers’, reportedly hired from within the Kot Bhalwal Jail for eliminating witnesses in Amandeep Singh murder case. Previously posted as Superintendent of Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu, Mirza Saleem has been in jail since March 2011 and facing charges of corruption and criminal involvement. His rank is equivalent to that of SP in J&K Police.

Name of yet another former SSP of Jammu was seriously mentioned by men of consequence in politics, business and bureaucracy in J&K in the infamous Chopra murder case investigation. However, he escaped the successive governments’ action, mainly due to his central deputation and posting in National Investigation Agency (NIA).

In 2011 again, Government ordered removal and attachment of 2003-batch IPS officer and SP Reasi, Keshav Ram, additional SP Anita Sharma and Dy SP Mohammad Aslam Choudhary on December 11th when a verbal altercation in public took place between Anita and Aslam at a National Conference (NC) rally, among others addressed by the ruling party supremo  and Union Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah. Son of an Udhampur-based NC leader, Ch Aslam had reportedly objected to the traffic restrictions put in place by the female KPS officer in the movement of people towards Dr Abdullah’s public meeting. As the two junior officers were attached for publicly violating the service conduct rules, IPS officer was charged with his failure of command and control. Departmental inquiry is reportedly underway in this matter.

However, NC’s Rajya Sabha member, Ghulam Nabi Rattanpuri, has not succeeding in forcing action against 2006-batch IPS officer and SSP of Pulwama, Amit Kumar, in the last several months. The young IPS officer and the NC MP have been at daggers drawn leveling charges of arrogance and ‘shielding criminal elements’ against each other. When the MP’s media statements did not work and everybody from Chief Minister to DGP remained unmoved, Rattanpuri moved a privilege motion in Rajya Sabya against the SSP, DGP and Chief Secretary Madhav Lal. Proceedings of the motion are in progress as notices have been served on the respondents.

 [To be concluded]

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Gynecologists asleep, surgeon removes 17 uteruses a month
Candlelight surgeon arrested, USG machine, DNC kits seized near Budshah Flats  
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Jan 14: Directorate of Health Services Kashmir has launched a major campaign to seal unlicensed nursing homes, hospitals, clinics and laboratories in Kashmir valley but scores of these illegally running centres have never stopped their business. At one of such centres, authorities on Friday found a surgeon to have conducted as many as 17 uterus removals a month. Officials today caught a dismissed doctor red handed while performing a surgical procedure on a young woman near Budshah Flats in this capital city.
Authoritative sources said that a team of the Department of Health, led by Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Srinagar, Dr Farooq Ahmad, was proceeding to seal an illegally run untrasonography centre on Friday when it was tipped off about an illegally run hospital, close to the reputed Khyber Hospital, at Khayyam Chowk. The team conducted a raid and caught the staff of the 10-bed private hospital red handed while running an authorized USG centre. It was astonished to learn that the authorities had sealed an unauthorized USG unit at the same ‘hospital, some time back.
Investigation revealed that some technicians, medical and paramedical staff had broken the seal of the USG machine and they were operating the same unit without fear of the authorities. Some people insisted that the hospital staff had resumed business only after greasing the palms of some officials of Department of Health. They alleged that the teams had been raiding and sealing such centres but other officials of the department were asking the owners to pay them some money and resume their business.
Officials of Directorate of Health Services told Early Times that they had received some of such complaints which were being verified. They asserted that stern action would be initiated not only against these illegally running units but also the officials who had been allegedly fleecing the owners and operators. They said that a criminal case was being filed against the people involved in breaking the seal and operating the illegal and unauthorized business. They revealed that one of the surgeons was found to have carried out as many as 17 hystectomy procudures at the same hospital without proper diagnosis and professional support.
“Only a trained and well qualified gynecologist is competent and by law authorized to conduct such kind of a surgery. He too needs a professional anesthetist and several machines after proper diagnosis of the patient. But, in this case, we found an inexperienced surgeon to have conducted 17 uterus removals in a month. We are proceeding against the guilty”, Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Sameem-ur-Rehman said. He added that complete medical audit of the private hospital was underway.
A senior medical practitioner said that removal of uterus was an “extreme action” which needed to be avoided as far as possible. He said that removal of uterus subjects a female to numerous medical complicacies including ostoporosis (loss of calcium), psychotic depressions and other side effects. “But the young surgeon had been running a brisk business as he would advise hystectomy in almost all cases in order to charge a huge amount of money as fee from the patients”, said an official.
Sources said that in the forenoon today, Director of Health Services received specific information regarding a “candlelight surgeon” who had been allegedly running an illegal “abortion centre” near Budshah Flats. With the assistance of SDPO Shaheed Gunj, Imtiyaz Ahmad Parray, CMO Srinagar conducted a raid on the spot. Front door of the centre was found closed but it became clear within minutes that one Dr Ghulam Nabi Bhat was operating his business through a rear door.
One individual, who later identified himself as Dr Ghulam Nabi Bhat of Bumai, Sopore, presently living at Kralpora (Chadoura), attempted to escape from another side. He was soon taken into custody. SDPO Shaheed Gunj said that the joint team of Department of Health and Police found a young woman in an unconscious position. “Her abdomen had been cut. The accused later said that he was conducting only a ligation but there are complaints that illegal abortions and miscarriages at exorbitant costs were being conducted there. We have registered case FIR No: 02 of 2012 under section 3/8 of Nursing Homes and Clinical Establishment Act against the accused, evacuated the woman to Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Hospital Rainawari, seized two or three DNC kits and an aunthorised USG machine. Further investigation is in progress”, SDPO Shaheed Gunj said.
Sources at Directorate of Health Services Kashmir revealed further that Dr Nabi’s illegally run Jhelum Diagnostic Center near Budshah Flats had been sealed on a barrage of complaints last year. Case FIR No: 41 of 2011 had been registered against him at Police Station Shaheed Gunj. However, immediately after being enlarged on bail, the accused resumed business at the same center and installed a fresh USG machine and other equipment used in conducting abortions.
The accused doctor, who had earlier been dismissed from service on a similar charge and booked under case FIR No: 10 of 2003 at Police Station Chadoura, was arrested afresh today. He was being subjected to extensive questioning. Sources said that in today’s procedure, Dr Ghulam Nabi had charged a sum of Rs 2,000 from the young woman (wife of Mohammad Ayub Baba of Chattabal). She was reportedly operated later at a government hospital at Rainawari and was reportedly stable.
Sources said that scores of such centres were running in the capital city and huge amounts of money were being charged from the patients. Acc0ording to these sources, anything between Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 (depending on marital status and economic background of a woman) was being charged for each illegal miscarriage which could not only cause extensive damage to a patient but could also lead to her death in absence of a trained anesthetist and other medical and paramedical staff besides machiney. They said that the doctors arrested today was known as “candlelight surgeon” as he had been caught in Chadoura while conducting a surgical procedure under candlelight and without electricity.