Accusing the state administration of implicating political leaders and activists in fictitious cases, the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani on Monday demanded release of all incarcerated Hurriyat leaders and activists ahead of Eid-ul-Adha.
“Mehbooba Mufti facilitated the National Investigation Agency raids and arrest of Shabir Ahmad Shah, Peer Saifullah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar, Meraj-u-Din Kalwal, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Devender Singh Bahal and several traders. During people’s uprising in 2016, more than 20,000 pro-freedom people and activists were arrested and more than 500 are still detained either in interrogation centers or in different jails,” a spokesman of the Hurriyat (G) said in a statement.
Terming the approach of authorities as “sheer extremism”, the spokesman said: “Infamous Public Safety Act is being repeatedly slapped on political activists and for long they are languishing in different jails. In most of cases, the detainees were granted bail and their dossiers quashed by judiciary, but authorities instead of honoring court orders ignored all norms and rules. The detainees are slapped PSA to prolong their detention.”
The spokesman said: “Masarat Alam Bhat, Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, Amir Hamza Shah, Muhammad Yousuf Lone, Mir Hafeezullah, Muhammad Yousaf Falahi, Abdul Ghani Bhat, Rayees Ahmad Mir, Haji Muhammad Rustam Bhat, Muhammad Ashraf Laya, Fahmeeda Sufi, Muhammad Shakeel Yatoo, Muhammad Rafiq Ganai, Abdul Ahad Para, Shakeel Ahmad Bhat, Hakim Showkat Ahmad, Atif Hassan, Irfan Ahmad and several other are languishing in jails for long under the lame excuse of preventive custody.”
“The lifers including Dr Muhammad Qassim Faktoo, Dr Shafi Shariati, Ghulam Qadir Bhat and 50 others have been languishing in different jails, some of them even after completing the term of life imprisonment,” he said. Strongly condemning the detention and shifting of its activist Umar Adil Dar to central jail Srinagar, the spokesman said: “All these arbitrary measures won’t break our resolve or dampen our freedom sentiments.”
“Instead of facing Hurriyat leaders on political turf, the authorities are resorting to arbitrary measures against political leadership,” the spokesman said, appealing to the ICRC, Amnesty International and other rights organisations to use their influence for immediate release of all detainees.
Meanwhile, the Hurriyat has demanded impartial probe into the killings of student Gowher Ahmad and cable operator Hilal Ahmad Malik of Shopian. “Mysterious and innocent killings should be a matter of concern for us. Various Indian agencies are working in state and mysterious killings are being carried out under well thought out plan,” the spokesman said, appealing to the international human rights bodies to take note of these killings, bring facts to fore and play their role in stopping such incidents in Kashmir.