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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

After TV anchor, NC leader too gets bail

CM asks Police to ‘firmly’ proceed with the investigation

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Sep 11: National Conference (NC) leader and former Member of Legislative Council (MLC), Altaf Ahmad Wani alias Altaf Kaloo, who has been booked by Police in a matter of “causing obscene act at a public place”, alongwith a female television anchor, has been granted bail by a judicial court in Srinagar.

Informed sources revealed to Early Times that Altaf Kaloo approached the court of Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar, Mr Mohammad Shafi Khan, through his counsel and sought anticipatory bail. In his application filed under section 497-A Criminal Procedure Code, the petitioner expressed apprehension of his arrest by Police.

The judge heard the petitioner’s counsel and issued notice to Police through public prosecutor in the evening on Monday, seeking a detailed report in the matter on September 14th. “SHO concerned, in the event of his arrest, shall release him on bail on furnishing bail bonds in the amount of Rs 20,000 provided he is not involved in any offence which entails punishment for more than three years or which is triable by a special judge or a designated court”, said the Principal District and Session’s order of anticipatory bail in favour of the petitioner.

“However, he shall cooperate with the investigating agency during the period”, it added. The matter has been listed for hearing on September 14th.

Early Times learned from well-placed authoritative sources that Police would strongly contest the anticipatory bail on September 14th with a host of its arguments, including the one that the petitioner’s freedom of movement could influence the witnesses and thus hamper the investigation. Sources said that no less a top authority than Chief Minister Omar Abdullah himself today made it clear to Police that no intervention or pulls and pressures from his party or government be entertained.

“Chief Minister has conveyed that law would take its own course, asking Police to firmly investigate the matter”, said an official source. He asserted that Police would contest the bail and get the protected politician arrested as a manhunt had been launched to detain him wherever spotted. However, there was no possibility of his arrest in the next three days and Police would only perform a formality of calling the accused for his presentation and cooperation in the investigation.

Following obtaining anticipatory bail, Altaf Kaloo started his efforts of getting his belongings, including his seized Scorpio JK01N-6565, released from Police custody. However, he did not succeed in it immediately. Thereafter, he arranged another Scorpio of the same colour and make, bearing registration No: 6940, and drove all the way from Srinagar to Anantnag last evening even as Police claimed to have launched manhunt to arrest him. He stayed for the night at his officially allotted residence at Khannabal, in close vicinity of the residences of DC, SSP and DIG of Anantnag.

In the forenoon today, a Police agency provided additional escort of one Tata-407 and a Gypsy to the NC leader who was seen waving triumphantly to people while touring his constituency and driving to his village in Aeshmuqam. In the evening, Kaloo returned to Anantnag in the same Scorpio, No: 6940, escorted by Policemen in three vehicles. Again, he is staying at his Khannabal residence.

Efforts to reach Kaloo for his comments and his reaction to the allegations leveled against him in FIR No: 110 of 2012 under section 294 RPC, failed as his mobile phone was either switched off or ‘not reachable’ for most of the time.


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