Total Pageviews

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jailkhani to DD’s anchor: Good bye lady!
ADG bans tainted anchor’s entry into ‘Good Morning J&K’

‘DDK Srinagar officials kept me in the dark about her arrest and return to the morning show after her release on bail’

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Sep 12: Doordarshan’s Additional Director General, Ashok Jailkhani, has banned a controversial female anchor’s appearance in Doordarshan Kendra (DDK) Srinagar’s morning show “Good Morning J&K” with immediate effect.

“I have taken cognizance of reports in Early Times and other newspapers and banned her booking in all of Doordarshan’s programmes with effect from today”, Jailkhani told Early Times from his office in New Delhi. His statement was confirmed with the fact that the anchor, currently in negative news on account of her booking by Police in a criminal matter involving a ruling National Conference (NC) leader, did not host today’s morning transmission of the Srinagar station. According to reports, hundreds of thousands of DD’s viewers in J&K and outside were keenly watching whether or not the controversial anchor would host the show today.

As reported in the last two issues of this newspaper, DDK Srinagar’s most sought-after female anchor was arrested by Police near Bagh-e-Shagoofa in the picturesque Nageen Lake in Hazratbal area in the evening on September 9th and booked in a matter of “committing obscene act at a public place”. In FIR No: 110 under section 294 RPC, Police claimed to have arrested the female anchor after she was allegedly caught ‘red-handed’ with the NC leader and former MLC, Altaf Ahmed Kaloo.

Even as Police claims to have seized the protected politician’s Scorpio, a gun licence, three ATM cards and a half-consumed bottle of Hundred Piper Whisky, the FIR mentions that he escaped when the raid was conducted in a car parking area beside Royal Palace houseboat. After three rounds of questioning during her 24-hour-long custody, the accused woman obtained bail from through her counsel from a judicial magistrate.

In hours of her release, officials of DDK Srinagar sent her a vehicle and got her picked up from her residence in Harwan area in the morning on September 11th and asked her to continue anchoring the daily morning show. To the surprise and dismay of thousands of viewers, she hosted the show as usual without any hesitation or embarrassment. According to reports available with the authorities, her appearance in the show generated a palpable wave of resentment against the Indian national broadcaster.

In his prompt reaction to an exclusive report published in today’s edition of this newspaper, DD’s ADG incharge North India, Ashok Jailkhani, asserted that his order of freezing all of the controversial anchor’s bookings had been implemented with effect from today. He claimed that he had been kept completely in the dark by DDK Srinagar Director, Shammi Shair, and other officials of the station with regard to the anchor’s arrest, Police custody, her release on bail and returning to the show yesterday.

“It was only when I was returning to New Delhi by a flight yesterday that some of my friends and colleagues called me by phone and revealed how the female anchor had been brought back to the show after her arrest and subsequent release on bail”, Jailkhani said. “Back in Delhi, when I read the newspapers, I realized that her entry into DD premises should be banned till she is cleared in the criminal matter booked by Police”. Jailkhani said that public perception and image of the television anchors could not be compromised in any circumstances.

Significantly, Jailkhani revealed that Mrs Shammi Shair had herself hosted the programme on September 10th after telling him that the regular anchor would not turn up as her aunt had died overnight. “Being in Srinagar since last week in connection with the release of my book (on theatre) by Governor, I was myself the guest in Good Morning J&K on September 10th. Shammiji told me that she had sent a vehicle to get the anchor but the lady would not turn up as her aunt had passed away last night. She said that she would herself reach the station and host the show. Shammiji reached on time and interviewed me while herself hosting the show. Even after the regular anchor had been brought back to the show on September 11th and newspapers carried stories in the day’s editions about her own arrest, I was not told about it”, he disclosed, making it clear that he had no role in getting the controversial anchor back to the show yesterday.

ADG further refuted allegations that he had ever asked DDK Srinagar to promote three particular casual women artists, including the controversial anchor, by increasing their fees and frequency of bookings. “This is all rubbish”, Jailkhani dismissed the allegation and claimed that he did not know any of the three. According to certain reports, the three casual artists were conspicuously present during CEO Prasar Bharti Jawahar Sircar’s recent visit and stay at SKICC beyond midnight though none of them was supposed to be there. They had been also hanging on Prasar Bharti’s General Manager during a meeting of the Parliamentary delegation at EDI building near Pampore.

With the ADG banning the controversial anchor’s entry into DDK premises, Director DDK Srinagar, Shammi Shair, who is herself producer of the programme, hosted today’s episode of “Good Morning J&K”.


Altaf Kaloo wanted in another complaint
DIG among officials trying to subvert investigation

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

Srinagar, Sep 12: National Conference’s south Kashmir leader and former MLC, Altaf Kaloo, is wanted by Srinagar Police in another complaint filed against him two months ago by a woman. Police today filed an application seeking cancellation of Mr Kaloo’s bail that has been granted to him by Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar in a matter of ‘obscene act at a public place’ allegedly involving a female television anchor working for Doordarshan and the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

Authoritative sources revealed to Early Times that Srinagar District Police today submitted an application in the court of Principal District and Sessions Judge, seeking cancellation of his bail that had been granted to him the other day in FIR No: 110 of Police Station Hazratbal. According to the FIR, Kaloo had been spotted in a compromising position with a female television anchor at a car parking near Bagh-e-Shagoofa at Nageen Lake in the evening on September 9th.

Enlarged on bail, Kaloo had not yet submitted bail bond of Rs 20,000 that was a condition in the relief granted to him by the court. He has not either produced himself before SHO or concerned Investigation Officer to fulfill formalities and cooperate in the investigation. Sources said that someone informed Kaloo by telephone and he quickly arranged a lawyer to contest the Police application. In the wake of objections by his counsel, the application was placed for hearing on September 14th.

Sources revealed that Kaloo was also wanted by Police in another complaint that had been filed against him two months back by a woman in Police Station Saddar in Srinagar. He is likely to be called for questioning in the next two days.

Sources made another sensational disclosure that Kaloo had escaped from the spot of Police raid in Nageen on September 9th  with a licensed pistol in his hand. “It was only his good luck that he did not open fire. In that case, he could have even died in a possible encounter”, said a Police source.

Sources revealed that despite “green signal” from Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and no political intervention, some of the Police officers were “desperately trying to subvert the investigation”. They, according to very responsible sources, include a DIG who has previously remained posted in south Kashmir and enjoyed intimate relationship with the NC leader.

Meanwhile, spokesman of the ruling National Conference (NC), Tanvir Sadiq, told Early Times that Altaf Kaloo had already been placed under suspension on the direction of the party’s Working President Mr Omar Abdullah. He said that Kashmir Province President, Ali Mohammad Dar, has accordingly shot off a notice to Mr Kaloo asking him to appear before him with an explanation with regard to his conduct within seven days, failing which the party would initiate necessary action in the matter without any further notification to the respondent.


NC, Congress, PDP, CPM, Hurriyat silent but
MLA seeks action against DD officials

Early Times Report

Srinagar, Sep 12: Even as almost all the mainstream as well as separatist politicians have chosen to remain mute to the fresh sex scandal unfolding in the summer capital, independent MLA from Langet, Er Sheikh Abdul Rasheed has demanded action against the female television anchor, NC’s former MLC and DDK Srinagar officials involved in the scam.

In a statement today, MLA said that rather than dismissing the tainted anchor, DD authorities should had added salt to the injury by getting her back to host the morning show.

“There can be nothing more shameless and immoral than the fact that morally degraded authorities of Doordarshan allowed the said female anchor to carry on the programme Good Morning J&K within12 hours of the incident”, he added.

“It seems that Doordarshan Srinagar has become a den and base camp of immoral activities where, in the name of cultural activities, minds of Kashmiri youths are being poisoned with immoral and shameful acts”, he said and demanded stern action against the DD officials.  “Common masses have right to know that how the said TV anchor was allowed to host a program after this grave incident”, MLA asserted. He, nevertheless, appreciated role of J&K police in acting promptly “despite the huge pressure from the political and bureaucratic set up”.


Ex-MLC, DD anchor try shamelessly to defend their act

Early Times Report

Srinagar, Sept 12: How shameless and defiant can a politician become even after being caught red handed with a cohort? An ex-MLC who held the prestigious and constitutional position of a law-maker some years back has not only started shamelessly moving around, but also defying the society by claiming he did nothing wrong.

A half empty bottle of 100 Pipers whisky, an abandoned Scorpio, three ATM cards, a .12 bore gun licence still lying in the possession of the police have also not shaken the conscience of the man who was some time back regarded as a gentleman to whom men, women and children would go seeking remedies to their problems.

As if this was not enough for the involved to drown themselves in shame, the DD anchor went on air the very next day she was given bail. As an affront to millions of its viewers, the DD authorities sent the woman an official car to take her out of the Ram Munshi Bagh police station as if she had gone there to receive some prestigious award.

Obscenity in a public place might legally be a small offence that attracts an imprisonment of just three months and a fine if proved, but its social import is tremendous. The exposure has caught the imagination of every morally conscious and law abiding citizen of the State as media reports flashed the news about the shameful act of the duo. In fact, not only the ex-MLC, but the DD anchor as well are in the public domain and condemnation of the act has to be universal and befitting.

State Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah has already directed the police not to succumb to any pressure in the matter and take its investigations to a logical conclusion, but the legal process is always a protracted affair in our country. People get released on technicalities. Production of witnesses for an act like this is not always an easy affair. First of all nobody would like to be known to have stood as a mute witness to such a shameful act. Admission in a court of law that somebody stood watching the duo perform their obscene act in itself attracts a lot of social stigma. The worst punishment the perpetrators of such a shameful act can be given is to expose them in the public eye. After all, people are the final judges of who is doing right or wrong in the society.

That this incident has been widely condemned is proof enough that our society is still alive to its moral and social values. Nobody approves such an act and those indulging in it must receive the widest possible condemnation.

If politicians and men of influence continue to take the law for a ride then what hope is left that an ordinary citizen would feel safe in our society? It is essential that the involved persons be turned over to the process of law and charged for their obscene behavior. It is a different matter what is the ultimate fate of the case, but the people must know that howsoever influential the involved might have been, law is uniform for all violators.



No comments: