Cleric Who Led Militant’s Funeral Denied Bail



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Srinagar: A special NIA court in Anantnag has denied bail to a cleric, who was arrested on March 3 this year, 726 days after leading funeral prayers of a militant from his native village, Damhal Hanjipora in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

The funeral of the militant Amir Tantray, killed in an encounter with joint team of police and army on 25 October 2018 at Arwani Bijbehara, was held next day.

As per prosecution, when the militant’s body was brought to his native village, the people of the area assembled. “The accused Mohammed Iqbal Bhat being cleric and one another cleric namely Tariq Ahmad headed and performed funeral of the deceased militant. In the meanwhile few miscreants raised anti-national slogans and raised slogans in favour of the Pakistan. They also instigated the youth for providing assistance in carrying out the militant activities,” the prosecution said.

On receiving the information, the prosecution said that a case (FIR No. 107/2018) for the offence under section 153 RPC, 13 ULA(P) Act and 2 PINH was registered with Police Station D.H.Pora and investigation commenced.

“During the course of investigation statement of witnesses were recorded under section 161 Cr.PC.  The  accused was also found to have perpetrated the crime and as such he was booked in the offences and was accordingly arrested on 03.03.2020. The accused is under proper judicial remand,” the prosecution said, contending that accused “is involved in heinous offences against the sovereignty and integrity of the country.”

On the other hand, the accused, Mohammad Iqbal Bhat, said he is a farmer by profession and one of the peace-loving citizens who has been “falsely implicated.”

Bhat said he is a respected persons, most particularly in the area where he resides and does not having any previous criminal record.

Surprisingly, Bhat said he received a telephone call from Police Station D.H. Pora that an FIR has been lodged against him and asked him to appear before the police. On approaching the police station on March 3 this year, he said, police detained him.

“On over all analysis of the matter in its totality, I am of the considered opinion that applicant/accused has failed to establish a reasonable and cogent ground for grant of bail at this stage and as such in view of the preceding analysis, there appears to be no merit and substance in the bail application of the applicant/accused,” said Special Judge (Designated Court Under NIA) Additional Sessions Judge Anantnag Khalil Ahmad Choudhary and accordingly  dismissed the application being “devoid of any merit.” (GNS)

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