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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Police department’s Haji Yousuf, PHC officials caught red-handed

Protected person had converted EP quarter into gambling centre; 6 VIPs arrested, 3 vehicles seized

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, May 25: In an unusual raid on a Government quarter in Batmaloo, Police have caught six highly influential persons red-handed while gambling. Stake money worth over Rs 74,000, packs of playing cards and three vehicles have been seized from them.

Authoritative sources revealed to Early Times that on Thursday, a Police party from Police Station Batmaloo conducted a raid on an Evacuee’s Property, allotted by Custodian Kashmir to an influential Shahtoosh trader, Muzaffar Ahmad Handoo, near General Bus Stand in Batmaloo. Handoo, alongwith his armed guard, allotted to him by Police Department, was found gambling with four others at the premises.

All the six alleged gamblers were arrested and their stake money, besides a Scorpio vehicle, a Santro and an i20 A-Star, were seized from them. After recording statements and sustained questioning of the detainees, case FIR No: 51 of 2012 under sections 3, 4 and 5 of Public Gambling Act, dated 24-05-2012, was registered against them.

The investigation was completed within 24 hours and the accused were produced, alongwith challan, in the court of law today. Sources said that Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar granted bail to the accused and transferred the case for trial to court of Sub Registrar Srinagar today. CJM directed that challan of the case be produced before the court of Sub Registrar Srinagar on May 26th.

Sources said that the raid was conducted after complaints poured in repeatedly that the officially allotted EP house was being misused by the allottee for gambling. Warrants were obtained for search and arrests and thereafter Police carried out the operation.

Those arrested in the raid included Muzaffar Handoo of Soura (presently Padshahi Bagh), a Pashmina and Shahtoos trader known for his two-decade-long intimate relations with top and middle rung officers of J&K Police, including a number of retired and serving DGPs, additional DGPs, IGPs, DIGs, SSPs and SPs. Sources revealed that Handoo had been enlisted as a protected person and allotted a PSO in 1996 from Police Department. His SPO, namely Constable Mushtaq Ahmad Dar of Sangham Iddgah, was also arrested on spot. With free access to offices of almost all senior Police officers, including sensitive security installations like Srinagar Airport, Handoo was known for managing transfers and appointments besides allotment of contracts and supply orders in J&K Police and Police Housing Corporation. With his arrest, two of his cellphones and Vehicle:  JK 01 M 7665 [Silver i20 Astar] have been seized.

Sources identified the other detainee as Abdul Qayoom Wani S/o Ghulam Mohammad Wani R/o Chhanapora, who was reportedly owner of a transport company at Fruit Mandi Srinagar. One cellphone and a Santro, bearing No: JK 01-J 8937, has been seized from him.
Another detainee has been identified as Abdul Majeed Lone S/o Ghulam Mohiuddin Lone of Model Town Sopore, presently living at Govt Quarter J-31 Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar. He has identified himself as Procurement Officer of J&K Police Housing Corporation. One cellphone and a Scorpio, bearing registration number JK 01-P 3572, have been seized from him. Sources said he revealed the names of some other officials, including an Executive Engineer, who had also been gambling even during hours of duty.

A contractor working with the corporation, Mohammad Yousuf Khan S/o Ghulam Ahmad Khan of Moninabad Batmaloo has also been arrested on the spot. His cellphone has also been seized.

Yet another detainee has identified himself as M K Bhat S/o Raghunath Bhat R/o Roop Nagar Jammu, presently Bishembar Nagar Srinagar. He disclosed during questioning that he was an official working in office of SE PWD Baramulla. However, Chief Engineer R&B Kashmir, Mushtaq Ahmad, claimed that no official of his department or SE’s office Baramulla had been arrested.

Sources said that stake money worth Rs 70,400 was also seized from the alleged gamblers on spot.


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