Anxious parents demand his immediate release
Sopore: In their home in Sopore, the parents of 25-year old Tawseef Ahmad Bhat helplessly seek their son’s release. Tawseef was arrested by police in India and charged with sedition for speaking against Indian rule in Kashmir and endorsing Kashmir’s independence on his Facebook account.
“Our son is just 25. Simply because he shared a post on social media the police has arrested him and kept him in confinement! We cannot understand why a grave charge of sedition has been slapped on him,” Inam-ul-Bhat, Tawseef’s brother told Kashmir Reader.
A pall of gloom has descended on Tawseef’s home in Gund Brath, Sopore since his arrest on August 2. Tawseef was employed as an engineer in a mobile phone company in Chhattisgarh.
“My brother has been in Chattisgarh for 7 years now and we never received any complaint about him during those years. He was scheduled to come home on August 2 and had called us about it. Apparently he was picked up in a train as he was on his way home,” Inam said.
Tawseef’s father — a government teacher — and elder brother left for Raipur to meet him after his arrest but were not allowed to meet him.
“Tawseef has been lodged in a cell as if he were some notorious criminal. He is in much pain. The only communication with Tawseef has been via a phone that the police arranged.”
“The news of my brother’s arrest is making rounds on Indian national media channels as if they have arrested a leader of some terrorist group. He is an educated, well-mannered boy. Why is Tawseef being put through all this?” the family asks.
Tasweef’s family, worried for his health and safety, said that they contacted the local Superintendent of Police and he ‘assured us of help but till this time nothing has been done’.
Cops arrested Tasweef for ‘liking, sharing and posting anti-India content on Facebook’ after activists of Hindu rightwing group, the Bajrang Dal, complained to the police against a post on his Facebook page displaying a caricature a broom shooing away a mouse rendered in the colors of the Indian flag with the caption, “Go India, Go Back.”
The Bajrang Dal activists had been quoted in the New York Times saying that Tawseef “has abused the army, the police and India in the posts that he has liked and shared.”
The Chattisgarh police maintains that charges against Tawseef were based on his Facebook posts and he “was not found to be involved in any other activity.”
““These things (putting up such pictures and anti-India slogans) are and may be normal in Kashmir, but not in this part of the country,” the SP, Amresh Mishra had told New York Times.