Srinagar, Mar 10: Joint Hurriyat Leadership termed the NIA summons to Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani’s son Syed Naseem Geelani and asking them to present themselves before NIA court in New Delhi on Monday, as “sheer political vendetta” deserving strongest condemnation.
The leadership in a statement to the press said that NIA raids on the residences of leaders and their relatives followed by summoning them to Delhi is a fresh attempt to “build pressure on the pro-resolution leadership to push them into submission so that they stop pursing the resolution of the Kashmir issue”.
“In the past NIA and other agencies of GoI conducted raids on the residences of pro-resolve leaders including women leaders and later arrested many of who continue to languish in New Delhi’s Tihar jail in past almost two years without trial,” the statement said.
The leadership, the statement added, said they have made it clear that they won’t come under any pressure and face the “fresh onslaught of Delhi in the form of NIA and ED raids and summons with full resilience but continue to pursue the cause of truth and justice, for which lakhs of Kashmiri people have offered tremendous sacrifices and continue to so.”
The leadership said that they have always advocated for a peaceful resolution of the issue and have nothing to do with so-called “terror funding”.
“These fake charges and the propaganda around it are being pursued electoral gains by those at the helm,” the statement read.
The leadership strongly denounced the arrest spree, ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, slapping of PSA on JKLF chairman Yasin Malik and many others, harassing and intimidating the youth and elderly, vandalizing properties, injuring the youth in peaceful protests, imposing curbs and restrictions in down town, worst form of human rights violations being committed by the forces and clarified that these repressive measures were tested in the past as well but failed to yield any result and that the only way to ensure peace in the region is to resolve the Kashmir issue as per its historic perspective according to the wishes of people.
The leadership hailed the support extended by the traders, transporters and other segments of the society towards leadership and thanked them and asked that normal life should be resumed on March 11.
“Any program will be communicated to people in the future,” the leadership said.
Shutdown, restrictions in city areas
Srinagar, Mar 10: The authorities on Sunday imposed restrictions in parts of the city as a precautionary measure in view of a strike called by different trade bodies against the NIA summon to Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Restrictions were imposed in six police station areas of Srinagar. The curbs under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure were imposed in Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, MR Gunj and Safakadal areas.
Authorities said restrictions were imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain ‘law and order’ and to avoid any untoward incident in view of the strike.
Many trade bodies of Srinagar city had called for two-day shutdown from Sunday after NIA summoned Mirwaiz to Delhi headquarters on March 11.
Markets and other business establishments in the old city remained shut.
The public transport was also off the roads while a few private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in some areas of the city.
Principal’s ‘custodial killing’: Probe officer meets family, locals
Srinagar, Mar 23: Assistant Commissioner Revenue (ACR) Pulwama Qazi Masood probing the “custodial killing” of a school principal Saturday met the victim’s family in Awantipora area of Pulwama district.
Rizwan Asad Pandit, the Principal of Sabir Abdullah Public School Tral, was picked up by the police from his home late on March 17 during a raid and was killed in police custody at the Cargo Building two days later, according to his family.
Although the police had initially admitted that Rizwan had “died” in custody and that the matter was being probed under “procedure laid down in Section 176 of CRPC,” it later filed an FIR against him for “escape or attempts to escape from custody”, lending a new twist to the case.
The magisterial inquiry that was ordered in Srinagar was also closed and a fresh probe ordered in Pulwama district and a report sought in “four weeks.”
“Government has appointed me as an inquiry officer, I assured the family that I will conduct the fair investigation into the case,” the inquiry officer Qazi Masood told GNS after meeting Rizwan’s family members and local residents.
Masood said he has sought a report from SP Awantipora on why and how Rizwan was detained and the circumstances that led to his death.
“I have also sought a postmortem report from the SP,” the officer said.
Meanwhile, reports said that soon after the inquiry officer arrived in the area and met the family members, locals held a protest demonstration demanding stern action against the guilty.
Civil society, traders, Bar demand special inquiry commission
Srinagar, Mar 23: Kashmir business community, civil society, and High Court Bar Association on Saturday asked Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Paul Malik to set-up an independent Special Commission of inquiry in the custodial killing of Awantipora school teacher Rizwan Asad Pandit.
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, they said that there have been countless instances of inquiries being ordered in killings without any results.
“To deter future violations, we appeal to the Governor for setting up of a time-bound Independent Special Commission of Inquiry,” they said.
The members said that till the time the commission submits its report, it would serve justice if the case is treated to be one of custodial killing and all persons associated with it are put behind bars and kept away from active duty.
“Such inquiries, suffering from institutional bias and state interference, have rarely served the interests of justice,” they said.
“We have a reason to believe that this killing would also suffer the same fate and the killers would again roam free to kill, more confident in the fact that their crimes will never be brought to account,” they said.
They said that the repeated perpetration of serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law needs in-depth fact-finding and investigation.
On Tuesday, Rizwan Asad Pandit, a 29-year-old school teacher, died inside the Jammu and Kashmir’s CARGO camp in Srinagar.
He was picked up for questioning from his home in Awantipora on Sunday.
The family had said that his body bore evidence of being subjected to extreme physical violence.
The press conference was jointly held by KCC&I, High Court Bar Association, KTMF, KEA, KTMF (R), FCIK(A), FCIK(M), JKSECC, KCSDS, KHARA, CCIK, All Transport Welfare Association, Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Dealers Association, Houseboat Owners Association, KHAROF, Pvt School Association, Kashmir Bakers Association, All Kashmir Chemist & Distributors Association, Hoteliers Club, All Traders & Transporters Coordination Committee, All J&K Taxi Owners Association, Association Of Kashmir Tour, Environmental Protection Group, Shehr E Khaas Coordination, Beopar Mandal S R Gunj, Rehabilitation Alliance, and Batamaloo Traders Association.
ED imposes Rs 14.4 lakh penalty on Geelani
Srinagar, Mar 22: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Friday imposed Rs 14.4 lakh penalty, on Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani for “illegally” possessing foreign exchange of around $10,000, news agency PTI reported.
After completion of the probe and adjudication proceeding, the ED an order on Wednesday under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), levying the penalty and confiscating forex of $10,000 that was allegedly recovered from Geelani, they said.
The ED will also impose a penalty on Yasin Malik, Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and confiscate foreign exchange recovered from him. The adjudication proceedings against Malik are in progress.
On Wednesday, a Delhi court also allowed ED to quiz Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah and others in connection with an alleged funding case.