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CMO caught on video while raping woman at office
CBI held Dr Sofi guilty in Shopian case but Omar Govt promoted him as CMO in 2009
3/20/2010 11:07:57 PM
SRINAGAR, Mar 20: Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Pulwama, Dr Ghulam Qadir Sofi, has been finally placed under suspension by Omar Abdullah's NC-led coalition government but not before he was caught on video while committing rape on a 30-year-old unemployed nurse at his office. Even as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had held him guilty, alongwith five other doctors, of fudging and fabricating evidences in alleged rape-cum-murder incident of two young women in Shopian, state government had promoted Dr Sofi from the position of Deputy CMO to CMO in September last year and continued his posting in Pulwama district.
Enquiries made by Early Times revealed that CMO Pulwama, Dr Ghulam Qadir Sofi, allegedly established contact with a trained but unemployed female nurse of Balpora village and promised her recruitment into government service if she was willing to satiate his sexual desire. On a particular date earlier this month, the woman in her early 30s reached his office to do the needful. However, one or two of Dr Sofi's contacts, managed to shoot the act on a mobile phone.
Few days later, a compact disc (CD), containing the sexually explicit footage, reached the editor and two sub editors of a local news agency, holding office yards away from Kothi Bagh Police Station. Chief Editor of the news agency also happens to be the publisher and editor of an Urdu newspaper. Rather than making a news of it, they contacted Dr Sofi through his son, Abdul Hamid, and demanded cash worth Rs 1 Crore in lieu of maintaining silence. While the bargaining continued for few days, CMO's son contacted Inspector Vishal of Special Operations Group (SOG) Srinagar and sought his help with the complaint that some people were blackmailing "my relative".
Inspector Vishal advised Abdul Hamid to fix the deal with the "blackmailers" and inform him on the moment of handing over money to them. As planned by Inspector Vishal, both the sub editors were taken into custody and handed over to SHO Kothibagh, Inspector Shafeeq Ahmed. Police seized a copy of the CD from the duo. But rather than carrying out any investigation, Police destroyed the CD and even deleted the file from the laptop of the sub editors.
The sub editors claimed that they were not in possession of any other copy of the video. However, fearing that Police were "hand-in-glove" with the doctor, the sub editors circulated copies of the CD among several officials, including Directorate of Heath Services Kashmir, as also among the civil society in Pulwama and Shopian districts of south Kashmir.
Inspector Vishal confirmed to Early Times that he had been contacted by Dr Sofi's son and on March 17th evening he got both the journalists trapped who, according to him, had lowered demand from Rs one Crore to Rs 40,000. He said that he handed over the duo to Police Station Kothibagh which was holding further investigation. SDPO Sheikh Zulfikar as well as SHO Kothibagh, Inspector Shafeeq Ahmed, maintained that the investigation was in progress. They denied that Police had hushed up the matter to protect the CMO and claimed that necessary action would be taken under law after questioning of certain characters of the story and obtaining certain evidences.
The video clip, now in circulation in the capital city and entire south Kashmir, shows Dr Sofi committing the sexual act on a pretty young woman who enters a room and takes off her trousers. Entire act, in which both the characters are clearly identifiable, takes place on a bed, reportedly in a room of the CMO's office. However, some people suspect it to be Dr Sofi's clinic in Pulwama. The woman, wearing an embroidered pink colour Pheran and Shalwar, and half of burqa on her head (which is fully lifted from the front) does not pose any resistance but does not offer any smiles either. Legal experts insist that sexual exploitation of females on the promise of rewarding them with a government job was very much rape and the accused was supposed to be booked for rape.
In three days of investigation, Police have identified the woman as an unemployed nurse of Balpora village of Shopian district. However, she had neither been called nor questioned in custody or otherwise till late tonight.
Interestingly, then Dy CMO of Pulwama, Dr Ghulam Qadir Sofi, was among the six doctors who had been held guilty of fudging and fabricating evidences in the infamous "rape-cum-murder" case of two young woman in Shopian last year. Even as CBI established in its investigation that gynecologist Dr Nighat Shaheen had been influenced by Dr Sofi to collect vaginal smear from a number of women at District Hospital of Pulwama and send it to FSL for making it a case of gang rape in order to fabricate some Police officials, state government did not initiate any action against him. Dr Sofi was, in fact, elevated by Omar Abdullah government in September 2009 to the senior position of CMO with his continued posting in Pulwama district.
According to the CBI investigation, Dr Sofi had played a key role in falsely establishing the Shopian deaths as a matter of "rape-cum-murder" and also creating a huge law and order problem which consumed several human lives in weeks of massive protests all over Kashmir valley. CBI has absolved all the four Police officials, including then SP of Shopian Javed Iqbal Matoo, and filed a chargesheet of fudging and fabricating evidences against six doctors and five lawyers on December 14, 2009.
After Dr Nighat Shaheen and Dr Bilal Ahmed Dalal, Dr Sofi is now third of the group to have been placed under suspension. While as then CMO Pulwama, Dr Ghulam Mohammad Pal has retired from service in September 2009, remaining two of the accused, namely Dr Nazia Hassan and Mohammad Maqbool Mir, are still working in south Kashmir.
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