Police and Separatists War of Words Over Physically Disabled Man
SRINAGAR: A physically disabled man is at the center of a war of words between the J&K Police and the separatists who are accusing the force of “arbitrarily” using the controversial Public Safety Act against the people of Kashmir.
Tanveer Ahmad War, a resident of old town in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, was reportedly arrested by J&K Police last year in September during the crackdown on anti-India protests after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani pushed Kashmir into another crisis.
Police accuses Tanveer, whose both legs are crippled by polio and is presently languishing in Srinagar’s Central jail, of inciting young boys from Baramulla town to participate in anti-India and pro-freedom protests and “instigating and engineering 16 cases of mob and street violence.”
“The accused was actively involved in 2016 unrest in old town Baramulla who had been moving around on the tricycle provided to him earlier by Army as a goodwill gesture. He spearheaded violent mob violence in Baramulla Town pushing young boys on forefront of trouble endangering their lives,” a police statement said today.
Police said Tanveer, whose first detention under PSA was quashed but was slapped with another PSA and shifted to Kotbalwal in Jammu, “decorated his tricycle with Pakistani flags and make announcements from Public Address Systems instigating people for violence.”
Earlier, the JKLF chief Yasin Malik, said he met Tanveer at Srinagar’s Central jail when he was shifted there after being arrested by police. “No sane person can accept this kind of apathy and shamelessness but so-called rulers and their police have stooped so low that they neither are able to see any differently-abled person nor feel any shame while sending an ailing person to jail even from a hospital bed.”
Terming the use of ‘arbitrary’ law like PSA on a specially-abled person as a glaring example of ‘mental bankruptcy’ of rulers, Malik had appealed the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Asia Watch and other international human rights organizations to take note of these ‘gruesome acts of human rights abuses’.
“In Kashmir young and old including differently-abled people are being arrested and sent to jails under arbitrary laws like PSA and it is the responsibility of these organizations to take note of these atrocities and take steps to save innocent people,” he said.
The separatists have urged New Delhi to release all the political prisoners locked up in jails across the country as a confidence building measure to lend credibility to the ‘sustained dialogue' process initiated by the former spy Dineshwar Sharma's appointment as 'special representative' for Kashmir.
Earlier, it transpired last month that a young man from Anantnag who had been detained while recuperating from kidney surgery by police against the advice of the state home department, suffered infection in custody. He was released after the news of his illegal detention was published in a local daily.