In Kashmir, kin of jailed political leaders seethe over sudden police action, difficulties in meeting prisoners

  • In the aftermath of the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution, several political leaders have been detained in Kashmir.

  • Their family members have said that they faced several difficulties in meeting their relatives.

  • Most of the political leaders were arrested or detained during an overnight raid on 4 August.

In the aftermath of the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution, several political leaders have been detained in Kashmir. Their family members have said that they faced several difficulties in meeting their relatives.

Most of the political leaders were arrested or detained during an overnight raid on 4 August. Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal has said that some political leaders were taken into preventive custody, and that orders for their detention were being reviewed.

 In Kashmir, kin of jailed political leaders seethe over sudden police action, difficulties in meeting prisoners

Representational image. Reuters

Among those who faced difficulties in meeting their incarcerated relatives was 70-year-old Haneefa Lone, mother of former minister and People’s Conference leader Sajad Gani Lone. She said that the family was allowed to meet him only after they approached the court. Haneefa Lone also faced several procedural difficulties before she could meet her son, who is lodged at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), which has been turned into a sub-jail. She was asked to rewrite her application as she had addressed it to the Superintendent of the SKICC sub-jail instead of the Deputy Superintendent.

Forty-year-old Azad Yaseen, son of former minister Hakeem Yaseen, said that his father was arrested in a night raid, a day before the Central government revoked Article 370.

He recalled, “A large number of police personnel came to our residence in the middle of the night, and arrested my father. Only my mother and children were at home then. The policemen told my mother that they had received instructions to detain leaders, and my father could be released soon.” Azad said that the former minister's family members were not allowed to meet him for several days, and it was only on last Friday that the permission was granted.

Azad added, “We came here (to the SKICC sub-jail) many times, but were asked to go to the Deputy Commissioner's office to take permission. But we were not earlier given the permission to meet him,” he said.

Shabir Ahmad Mir, cousin of former minister Mohammad Ashraf Mir, said that he was allowed to meet him only for about ten minutes. Shabir Ahmad Parra, brother of PDP leader Waheed Parra, said that he was allowed to meet him at the SKICC on Wednesday for the first time since his detention.

Senior NC leader and party MP Akbar Lone described the arrest of his son, Hilal Akbar Lone, from their residence at Tulsi Bagh in Srinagar as “arbitrary” and reflective of the government’s “high-handedness.” He said, “The detention of mainstream leaders is cruel and reflective of high-handedness. There are no charges against my son, and he has been arbitrarily arrested.”

He further said, “The Government of India has betrayed the people of Kashmir by revoking Article 370, which conferred special status on Jammu and Kashmir.”

Outside the SKICC, Ali Mohammad Malla, a sarpanch, said that he was not allowed to meet senior leader Yasir Reshi although he had made an application for the same.

Updated Date: Aug 28, 2019 20:42:41 IST