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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dr Sofi arrested, cellphone seized, statements recorded by CJM Pulwama

CMO found to have raped married patient at clinic in holy month of Ramazan


SRINAGAR, Mar 25: In a major breakthrough in the rape of a woman at an illegally operating clinic in Pulwama, Police have identified the victim as a patient and mother of two young children, arrested the already suspended Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Ghulam Qadir Sofi, seized the mobile phone used in recording the crime, sent it for forensic analysis to FSL in Chandigarh and got statements of the amateur videographers recorded in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Pulwama. Technology led the Police to discover that Dr Sofi had committed rape on his patient not only at a property belonging to Pulwama Auqaf but also in broad daylight in the holy month of Ramazan.

Informed sources revealed to Early Times that a team of Pulwama District Police has finally succeeded in identifying two persons, who had recorded a doctor’s rape being committed on a young woman, as well as the victim of the crime who turned out to be mother of two young children and a patient of the CMO Pulwama, Dr Ghulam Qadir Sofi. Sources said that Dr Sofi, who had been placed under suspension on charges of moral turpitude on March 20th, was formally arrested and put behind the bars at Police Station Pulwama today as the victim of his crime as well as the mobile phone users revealed that the act had taken place at a clinic in Rajpora Chowk of Pulwama in September last year. Immediately after his suspension on March 20th, Police had registered FIR against the CMO under section 376 (D) and had been questioning him since March 21st but he was formally arrested only today.

SSP Pulwama, Syed Kifayat Haider, confirmed to Early Times that during the course of preliminary investigation, Police has identified and arrested two persons who had used their mobile phone in recording the rape of a woman at a doctor’s clinic in Pulwama. He confirmed that the mobile phone used in the crime has been seized and sent for forensic examination, alongwith a video clip that had been already seized by Police, to Chandigarh-based Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) of Central Crime Detection Training School (CDTS). He said that the statement of the mobile phone users was recorded today by CJM Pulwama under section 164 Cr PC and that of the woman identified would be recorded in a couple of days. He declined to disclose details while pleading that such revelations could hamper the process of investigation.

However, sources believed to be informed about the developments, said that the detained mobile phone users, who have been identified as Hilal and Bashir of two villages in Pulwama outskirts, made bizarre disclosures during their questioning first to Police and later in their statement recorded at a court. They revealed that Dr Sofi had committed the rape on a woman who was one of his female patients. They claimed to have shot the video with a Nokia after they removed tape from a hole in the window without the knowledge of the doctor and the victim. When asked as to what was their motive, they said that they had recorded the horrible sexually explicit scenes “just for fun”. They stated that the act had taken place at Dr Sofi’s clinic on first floor of a building belonging to Pulwama Auqaf in the holy month of Ramazan last year. Police have seized the Nokia used in shooting of the crime.

Sources said that the film was found to have been shot in the afternoon on 11th of Ramazan last year (September 2009) at 01.29 p.m.

One of the mobile phone users described himself as a laboratory technician working at a private clinic and another a salesman working at a chemist’s shop in Pulwama.

Sources said that the victim of the rape has been identified as a resident of another village in Pulwama outskirts. According to sources, she stated that Dr Sofi had sexually exploited her with the promise of getting her recruited in government service. In her early 30s, she happens to be mother of two young children.

Reports from Pulwama, meanwhile, said disclosure of the suspended CMO’s rape on a young woman at his clinic had sent shockwaves throughout the south Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Shopian where people were planning demonstrations on Friday. They are now reportedly demanding cancellation of Dr Sofi’s registration and termination of his services.

As already reported, Dr Ghulam Qadir Sofi has been in news since last year when some doctors had publicly claimed that two young women, namely Asiya Jan and Neelofar Jan, had been raped and killed in May 2009 in Shopian. It was on their reports that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Jammu &n Kashmir Police had arrested then SP of Shopian, Javed Iqbal Matoo, Dy SP of Shopian, Rohit Basgotra, SHO Shopian and a Sub Inspector on the charges of their involvement in the rape and murder of the two young woman and destroying evidences. However, during an investigation, CBI exonerated all the four Police officials and instead framed charges of getting the innocent implicated with false and fabricated evidences in a crime that could get them capital punishment against six doctors, including gynecologist Dr Nighat Shaheen and then Deputy CMO, Dr Ghulam Qadir Sofi, besides five Shopian-based lawyers.

Contrary to her earlier statements made before SIT and Jan Commission of Inquiry, gynecologist Dr Nighat Shaheen later revealed to CBI that she had not conducted any per vaginal on the two dead bodies. She had previously sweared by the holy scripture and claimed publicly that she had found the two women raped and murdered. Later, she revealed to CBI that she had actually collected the vaginal swab from the surgical gloves used on a number of married female patients at District Hospital of Shopian and sent the same to CSFL as the vaginal swab of Asiya Jan and Neelofar Jan so as to establish it as an incident of gang rape. She claimed to have sent another swab from a source not worth mentioning.

According to the chargesheet CBI has produced against six doctors and five lawyers in a court of law on December 14, 2009, Dr Nighat had fudged the vaginal swab slides on the influence and persuasion of then Deputy CMO of Pulwama Dr Ghulam Qadir Sofi. Interestingly, rather than being subjected to any disciplinary action, Omar Abdullah government’s Minister of Health Sham Lal Sharma had promoted Dr Sofi to the post of CMO Pulwama in September 2009, around the days of his committing rape on a woman patient at his clinic. It was around the same time that Omar government’s Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Mohammad Sagar, appointed one of the tainted lawyers as the government’s Public Prosecutor in District and Sessions Court of Shopian.


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