Jammu: As Jammu and Kashmir Police failed to arrest former minister Shabir Ahmad Khan before midnight Sunday, they would now have to take Speaker Mubarak Gul’s permission Monday for his arrest.

Although police raided three places, including the official residence of the former minister in Jammu Sunday, they are still clueless about Khan’s whereabouts. He has been accused by a woman doctor of sexually assaulting her.

The police were Monday expected to search the ex-minister’s ancestral residence in Rajouri town of Jammu region.

“We were not able to arrest the accused yesterday (Sunday) and unless he chooses to surrender himself voluntarily, we would have to seek the permission for his arrest from the honourable speaker of the state legislative assembly,” a senior police officer told IANS.

This new twist to the arrest of the former minister, against whom arrest warrants have already been issued by the Srinagar chief judicial magistrate, comes because the assembly session begins here Monday.

Khan is a Congress legislator from the Rajouri assembly constituency and would be protected by the privileges rule of the state legislature when the assembly is in session.

The process of seeking permission is likely to delay the former minister’s arrest.

An First Information Report (FIR) was lodged against Shabir Ahmad Khan for sexual assault on a woman doctor Feb 7 at Shaheed Gunj police station in Srinagar.

Khan resigned from the state council of ministers Feb 8 and his whereabouts are since not known.

He sought an anticipatory bail Feb 8, and the pleach is likely to be heard Monday.

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