In what could be termed as sheer abuse of power, Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo, today slapped senior Government officer at Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) Kishtwar, just before the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah’s visit to the area.
Eyewitnesses told EXCELSIOR that not only the MoS Home slapped the CEO but on his directions even the security personnel gave severe thrashing to the officer that too in the presence of some police officers, who had gathered there to make security arrangements for the Chief Minister’s visit.
The officer was reportedly slapped as he didn’t promptly come out of his office, which is situated in the TRC complex, to receive the MoS Home during his visit to TRC. The senior police officers instead of preventing the security personnel from thrashing the officer on the directions of MoS Home, preferred to remain mute spectator to the incident.
Later, while interacting with some media persons at his office, the Chief Executive Officer of Kishtwar Development Authority said that he would lodge FIR against the Minister for slapping him for no fault of his. “If the police didn’t respond to my complaint under the pressure of MoS Home I will knock the doors of the court of law”, he added.
“I don’t know why the Home Minister has slapped me. I was making preparation for power point presentation on the directions of the District Development Commissioner when I received a call that MoS Home has come to TRC”, he said, adding “though my duty was only to ensure all the arrangements in view of Chief Minister’s visit and I was not supposed to receive the Minister but within minutes I rushed towards the conference hall to meet the Minister”.
“What do you think of yourself was the first question from the Minister as soon as I reached the conference hall”, the CEO said, adding “though I told the MoS Home that I was busy with some work, the Minister started slapping me in front of security personnel and other officers”.
When the Minister slapped the officer for third time the latter resisted the action and sought to know from the Minister the reason behind his unwarranted action. “When I told the Minister as to why he was slapping me, the security personnel and some other persons accompanying the Minister pounced on me and started giving severe thrashing”, the CEO said, adding “when I was being beaten, the Minister was shouting at the security personnel for arresting me”.
“They would have killed me…I have decided to lodge FIR against the Minister”, the CEO said, adding “if I remain mum despite becoming victim of Minister’s unwarranted act this will set wrong precedence for the other people. There is no law which empowers the Minister to slap any Government servant. In case police fails to lodge FIR against the Minister on my complaint I will knock the doors of the court of law”.
Despite repeated attempts, neither MoS Home nor DIG Doda-Kishtwar Range, Ashkoor Ahmed Wani could be contacted for comments. However, Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar, Saleem Choudhary, when contacted, refused to say anything on the incident.
Meanwhile, newly elected office bearers of KAS Officers Association called on Chief Secretary, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey and conveyed resentment over the Kishtwar incident. The Chief Secretary assured that he would take up the issue with the Chief Minister.