Families Of Kashmiri Men Detained In Delhi Hold Protest


 KO Photo: Abid Bhat

Accuse Delhi Police Of Arresting The Trio On “Flimsy Grounds”

Srinagar: The families of three Kashmiri men arrested in New Delhi on charges of militancy, held a protest here on Tuesday alleging their kin have been detained by the special cell of Delhi Police on “flimsy grounds”.

Braving chill and heavy rains, the families of the three detained men, Reyaz Ahmed Rather and Shabir Ahmed Gojri, both residents of Nasrullah Pora and Muhammad Ayoub Pathan of Gondhipora village of Budgam, assembled at Press Colony here on Tuesday and staged a protest over their arrest by the Delhi police on “concocted charges”. Carrying placards, the family members, including women alleged that all the three men were not even remotely connected with militancy and have been arrested by police on false charges.

Gojri’s wife Shaista said that her husband visits the shrine of sufi saint Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti in Ajmer every year. This year, she said her husband was accompained by another youth from the village, who too has been arrested.

“Can’t people of Kashmir visit Delhi? Is it a crime to visit Delhi for any work? My father runs a bandsaw and has nothing to do with militancy. He was in Delhi to purchase some material,” Pathan’s son asked.

Pathan is the father of 3 daughters and 2 sons.

The family members of all these men while seeking the intervention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh appealed Delhi Police to release them.

“We have seen in the past how Kashmiri men were implicated in false cases and after spending years together in Jails were acquitted by the court of law,” they said.

All 5 Men In Police Custody For 4 Days

A report from New Delhi said all the five persons suspected to have militant links and arrested after an “encounter” here were remanded for custodial interrogation of four days by a Delhi Court on Tuesday.

According to the police, Shabir Ahmad, Mohammad Ayub Pathan and Riyaz Rather were allegedly affiliated with militant organisation Hizbul Mujahideen while Gurjit Singh and Sukhdeep Singh were accused of being involved in the killing of Shaurya Chakra winner Balwinder Singh in Punjab.

All the five were arrested on Monday after an alleged encounter from Shakarpur locality in east Delhi.

They were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Sahil Khumri, who allowed their police custody till December 11.

The police had sought their remand for eight days saying it was required for further investigation in the case.

According to the police, Ahmad, Pathan and Riyaz were from Kashmir and they were allegedly supplying money to the other two from Punjab to carry out targeted killings.

The five have allegedly revealed Pakistan spy agency ISI’s attempt to link Khalistani operatives with militant outfits in Kashmir, police said.

Advocate Qausar Khan, appearing for the accused, said two of the accused have been charged under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and three have been booked under relevant sections of the Arms Act.

Police had said that Gurjit and Sukhdeep were allegedly involved in the killing Balwinder Singh who had received the Shaurya Chakra for fighting militancy. He was shot dead in October.

Three pistols, two kilograms of heroin and Rs 1 lakh in cash were recovered from them along with the two cars in which they were travelling, police had said.

Police claimed that preliminary investigation has revealed there was an alleged attempt by the ISI to link up militant outfits active in Kashmir with Khalistan operatives.

“It has emerged that Pak’s ISI along with Pakistan-based Khalistan radicals Harmeet Singh (Chief of Khalistan Liberation Force) and Lakhbir Singh (Chief of KZF-Khalistan Zindabad Force; based in Pakistan) in furtherance of their conspiracy to revive militancy in Punjab, have been using gangster Sukh Bhikhariwal for targeted killings,” police had alleged.

According to the police, the three Kashmir-based men were allegedly supplying money to the other two to carry out targeted killings and the money was from the sales of drugs.

“They were selling drugs and the proceeds were used for financing militancy in Punjab,” they had claimed.

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