Corporator, mayor fight over misconduct allegations

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Srinagar

A female corporator from Kashmir capital Srinagar has accused Srinagar Municipal Corporation Mayor of ‘assault’ and has registered a formal complaint against him and his Personal Assistant before police station Shaheed Gunj, a report said.

Junaid Mattu, mayor of the Srinagar City.

According to news agency CNS Shaheen Bhat, who was elected from Ward number seven of Rajbagh in recently concluded Municipal Polls Monday alleged that she was roughed up by the Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu and his PA Firdous Ahmed in office chambers.

“The Mayor has been continuously asking me to come along with him for ‘enjoyment.’ He didn’t harass me once but a number of times. I had submitted an estimate for Rs 25 lakhs for developmental works but the Mayor concealed that estimate and didn’t approve it asking me to accompany him to some place for ‘enjoyment’. This is sheer sexual harassment,” Shaheen Bhat told news agency CNS.

The report said that she alleged that that Mayor and his Assistant manhandled and abused her in presence of other Corporators. “They tore my ‘Pheran’ (traditional gown) and showered choicest invectives,” she alleged.

“I approached SP South and Police Station Shaheed Gunj and requested them to lodge an FIR against the Mayor and his Assistant,” CNS quoted Bhat as having said adding that a number of Corporators are witnesses to this incident.

“Shaheen Bhat, who was elected on Congress ticket, said that she along with other Corporators will hit to roads if no action will be initiated against the SMC Mayor and his Assistant,” the report said.

A top police official confirmed to CNS that a corporator Shaheen Bhat has registered a complaint against the Mayor and his Assistant. “We will take cognizance of the complaint,” CNS reported quoted top police officer as having said.

Meanwhile, Srinagar Municipal Corporation Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu this evening in a statement issued to news agency CNS clarified that accusations levelled against him by a female Corporator are “concocted and baseless” which are aimed at to malign his image.

In a statement to news agency CNS, Mattu said that the said Corporator who has accused me of sexual harassment is the age of my mother and has children as old as me. Here is the sequence of facts:

“I didn’t attend office today and was chairing a review meeting of the Works Wing of the SMC at my residence at Church Lane, Srinagar. This is a fact that can be verified by nearly 20 gazetted officers who were present in the meeting as well as the security staff at my residence and those deputed for access control at my office. At the end of the meeting, I received a call from my Private Secretary (an employee of the SMC) that the said Corporator has barged into my office – physically assaulted the Private Secretary, Mr. Hussain and broke the computers and fixtures in the office demanding that a shop be allotted in favor of her husband in Srinagar and a job be arranged for a said person who she claims to be her son. She had persistently put forth these undue and illegal demands to me – for which I have proof. These are demands that I refused while upholding the integrity of my office and the SMC,” said Mattu in a statement.

“I immediately called the concerned SHO and registered a complaint – following which a Police team from PS Shaheed Gunj visited the office and recorded the statements of my staff and especially the written complaint of the assaulted officer along with statements of the witnesses – also government employees.”

“Following the registration of this complaint and the on-spot visit of the Police team, the said Corporator approached the Police with a fictitious and baseless complaint against me. There is a voice recording of a telephonic conversation in my possession proving that this fictitious complaint was done under the influence of a senior elected individual – in whose hotel premises the said Corporator was seen immediately after this incident. I will forward that recording to the relevant authorities.”

“The said Corporator – who is my mother’s age should have spoken of motherly values and ethics and upheld the trust reposed in her by the people. She should have upheld the dignity of womanhood and of truth by accepting her fault and apologizing to the officers for the incident of assault. I am saddened by the fact that she has chosen to level these baseless allegations against me under a well-crafted conspiracy hatched by a senior elected representative – who is clearly exposed for his role in this fiasco by the voice recording in my possession. I have spoken to my lawyers and will be filing a defamation case against the said Corporator and urge the Police to uncover the truth and uphold the law. I stand by values of transparency, honesty, and diligence in performing my duties and will not succumb to any pressure tactics to facilitate corruption. That is unacceptable and I will fight these baseless allegations and have no doubt that the truth shall prevail.”

“I am also writing to the Hon’ble Governor about this conspiracy and incident and will put this,” the statement issued by Mattu to news agency CNS reads.

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