Jobs-for-sex Scandal Unearthed In Kashmir

2 May 2008

Srinagar: A major jobs-for-sex scandal involving a top government official has been unearthed in Kashmir. Police said a 58-year-old assistant director of the handloom department was caught with an 18-year-old girl whom he had promised a job in his department. Handwara superintendent of police Haseeb Mughal said Mohammad Akbar, due to retire in a few months, had asked the girl to submit a formal application to him at a Handwara hotel. “He then took her to a room where he tried to have sex with her. But following a tip-off we raided the hotel room,” said Mughal. The SP said the girl belonged to a very poor family and had just passed the class 12 examination. “She was desperate for the job and visited his Kupwara office a couple of times. He promised to adjust her as a craft teacher,” said Mughal. Akbar has been suspended earlier for different reasons and was reinstated just a few months back. “The girl pleaded she should not be named in the FIR as it would damage her reputation. So we registered a general FIR against him,” said Mughal. In another case, police arrested three forest department officials for exploiting a widow on the pretext of promising a job. Sub-divisional police officer of Kulgam, Bashir Ahmad, said Abdul Gani Khanday, a head clerk in the forest department called the 24-year-old woman to the house of his subordinate Abdul Rasheed at Zoder village at Wanpoh. “She was made to wait till late evening. She was taken into a room where she was raped by Khanday. We arrested three persons including Khanday, Rasheed and another official,” said Bashir. He said the woman’s husband was killed by militants a few years ago and she was looking for a job.