By Mirza Jahanzeb
DODA: Advocate Hassan Babur Nehru, leader of Anjuman e Islamia in Doda, was arrested by police on Saturday night at 10pm from Mohallah Sah Faridabad in Doda. He has been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and sent to Central Jail. The Jammu police has lodged 3 FIRs against him for anti-national activities.
Advocate Hassan Babur is a social and human rights activist. In the past he has highlighted a diverse range of
social as well as developmental Issues in the Chenab Valley region. As a social activist his service towards people of far-flung areas and poor backgrounds has been exemplary. He used to lead processions, protests and sit-ins on various socio-political issues. In his daily routine was the creating of awareness among people of their human, social, political and religious rights. He was emerging as a leader of the masses which is probably why the government has acted against him. His family members said that police had already begun to harass him in the past on several occasions.
During the month of Ramadan, Babur led a protest in night hours in front of the office of Deputy Commissioner Doda, against frequent power cuts in the Chenab Valley. The police alleged that he broke the main gate of the office and since then, he was under the scanner of local police.
Babur was a practising lawyer who mostly pleaded the cases of deprived people for justice and fundamental rights. Many social and political organisations condemned Babur’s arrest and described him as a youth icon in the Chenab Valley region.
President of the Bar Association of Doda, Advocate Syed Asim Hashmi, and and senior advocate and eminent writer Imtiaz Mir, along with human rights activist Haji Abdul Qayoom Zargar and patron of the Doda Development Front Khwaja MA Kichloo have strongly condemned Babur’s arrest. They said that it was a huge blow to rights to expression and the right to justice.
Advocate Ghulam Hassan Patigaroo and convener of the Developmental Front, MA Zargar, have termed Babur’s arrest as a blow to democracy. They said that Babur was being harassed for raising genuine demands of people.
Popular leader Ghulam Hassan Pampori, Scheduled Caste leader Bhagat Lal Chand, and environmentalist Shishi Kumar Kesari have also condemned Babur’s arrest. They said that if such repressive practices do not stop, the people, particularly the youth, will feel alienated and the region will be further destabilised.
The administration has also slapped PSA on a medical student for protesting against government forces in Kashmir