Gulzar ‘Pir’ Rearrested, Police Challenging His Acquittal

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KL Report

SRINAGAR

A day after his family celebrated his acquittal; police have arrested the sleazy ‘faith healer’ Gulzar Bhat alias Pir from his Shamsabad village in Budgam. It was not immediately known if the Pir, accused in multiple rapes in his seminary, was arrested in the earlier case or a new one was registered against him.

Gul-e-badmash-peer“There were celebrations yesterday in his village as nearly 1500 people came from different villages and had lunch,” a Shamsabad resident told Kashmir Life. “Most of them left home the same day.”

At around 3 pm, two police trucks reached the village and arrested Gulzar. This left the family crying. “Police had arranged a huge force that was supposed to be used in case there are reactions and resistance but nothing of that sort happened,” the residents said. “Most of the village stayed away as they have been doing ever since the reality of this fake Pir was revealed.”

The residents said the police said they have reopened the case and are going against his acquittal. They said they do not know if Gulzar was taken to Budgam or Srinagar.

Gulzar, after being freed, had driven to Nendwendpora where he stayed for couple of days, Later around 1600 of his disciples followed him in a procession and got him home. He spoke to villagers briefly saying he was accused of things which he had not done and would continues his “mission”. Most of the residents of Shamsabad stayed away.

Three minor victims exploited by faith-healer, Gulzar in his Budgam seminary, addressing media in Srinagar.

Three minor victims exploited by faith-healer, Gulzar in his Budgam seminary, addressing media in Srinagar.

In Srinagar, police said they have decided to challenge the verdict of the principal judge that set him free honourably. “We are going against the verdict and we have asked for all the records,” a senior police officer said. A senior officer in the prosecution is being tasked to handle the case again. “If five minor girls are maintaining from day one – even during the trial – that they have been raped, what other evidence should the prosecution get,” the officer said. They said the charge sheet against the fake Pir is water tight and will hold scrutiny of law any time.

Given the massive reaction to fake Pir’s acquittal by the court of law, the police, insiders said, are also concerned about its own credibility as an investigator and apprehensions that it could trigger a larger crisis. Pir’s acquittal has been fiercely reacted by his victims and the civil society.

His victims on Saturday came to Srinagar to register their protest. They also said the verdict was in clear violation of the Supree Court guidelines and they will chellenge the teh decesion in a superior court.

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