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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 07:24 GMT 08:24 UK
Action against Kashmir minister
Women protesters
Women's groups staged protests over the sex scandal
A court in Indian-administered Kashmir has ordered the federal police to start legal proceedings against a minister in connection with a sex scandal.

The court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit all evidence against cabinet minister, Hakim Mohammed Yaseen, in six weeks.

The court has also approved legal action against seven others, including lawmakers and police officials.

The accused are alleged to have forced under-age girls into prostitution.

The scandal broke after a non-governmental group handed over a pornographic CD to the police.

The CD contained images of a local girl thought to be 15 or 16 years old.

'Speedy' investigation

Justice Basher Ahmad Kirmani of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court ordered the CBI to place all records, evidence and material available against the minister and the other seven accused before the chief judicial magistrate within six weeks.

Among the accused are two lawmakers - Ghulam Hasan Khan and Yogesh Sahni - and three police officers.

A mob ransacks the house of a woman alleged to be running a sex ring
The house of a woman alleged to be running a sex ring was attacked

The court has also asked the CBI to conduct a "speedy" and focused investigation against two other accused - Mohammed Yousuf Khan, former chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, and Raj Tiku, former vigilance commissioner of the state.

Last year, the CBI filed charges against 11 people, including two junior ministers in the state government, Ghulam Ahmed Mir and Raman Mattoo, and a senior bureaucrat, Iqbal Khanday.

The Supreme Court later transferred the trial to a court in the state of Punjab after the accused complained that lawyers in Kashmir refused to take up their case.

After the scandal broke last year, a woman alleged to be a prostitution "kingpin" was arrested and charged.

The names of 56 men were disclosed after police questioned the woman and the under-age girl.

The woman and the girl also named 42 women linked to the scandal.

The scandal led to widespread protests in the state.




SEE ALSO
Politicians held in sex scandal
20 Jun 06 |  South Asia
Kashmir gripped by vice scandal
18 May 06 |  South Asia
Kashmir women fight 'obscenity'
31 Aug 05 |  South Asia
Protest over Kashmir 'sex ring'
05 May 06 |  South Asia

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