Jammu, Dec 19: National Conference (NC) district president of Rajouri Bashir Ahmed Wani on Thursday drew flak after he was seen smoking on the stage during a rally which was supposed to be addressed by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Thursday was the final day for campaigning for the final phase of election in Jammu and Kashmir. [J&K assembly election 2014 schedule]
Sources said none of the policemen or National Conference leaders or members present on the occasion objected to Wani's public smoking, an act which is restricted under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003.
Wani was criticised for not only violating the law but also for paying little care to the issue of security ahead of the chief minister's visit. Lighters and matchboxes are not permitted at venues where VVIPs under Z-category security appear.
As per Section 12 of the COTPA, any police officer not below the rank of the sub-inspector can take action against such violations but none of the policemen present at the venue chose to act against the NC leader.
Twenty seats in Jammu and Kashmir assembly will go to the election on Saturday.