Srinagar: Family members of the three Kishtwar youth arrested in Srinagar’s Bemina area have contested the police claim that the three are over-ground workers of the Hizbul Mujahideen.
Mohammad Ramzan, father of 27-year-old Reyaz Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader that his son was visiting Srinagar to consult a doctor for his wife. “His wife is seven months pregnant and she was supposed to undergo a test which is not performed in Kishtwar. He along with his wife came to Srinagar on March 1,” he said.
Reyaz accompanied by his pregnant wife was arrested more than a week ago along with two other persons – Tawseeul and Ikhlaq Ahmad of Kistwar.
According to his family members, Reyaz had been working as a contractual government teacher for three years. “The couple had been struggling to have a baby after marriage. Now his wife was pregnant and he wanted the delivery to be free from any complications.
That was why he came with her to Srinagar to have the medical tests done,” his family said.
Police said that Reyaz’s wife was kept at the women police station for nearly 24 hours before she was released. The family of Reyaz say that for nearly a week they had no news of their son and daughter-in-law.
Reyaz, his younger brother said, is the main bread-earner of the family and takes care of his two brothers, three sisters, aged parents and an uncle.
“He was more concerned about earning for his family. There is no truth in the police claims,” his brother said.
Like Reyaz, Tawseeul is also a contractual teacher in a government higher secondary school at Kishtwar. “He has been a teacher for more than five years now,” a relative said.
His relative added that the youth was on his way to meet his sister, who is married in a family that lives in Srinagar’s downtown area.
Another youth, Ikhlaq, who according to the family had recently appeared in a physical endurance test to join the police department, was on his way to a condolence meeting at the house of a Srinagar family where he had once worked as a labourer.
Ikhlaq, a family friend said, belongs to a financially weak family and supports his family that includes an “almost blind father”.
On March 8, police claimed to have arrested the three youth on suspicions of being Over Ground Workers (OGW) of Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit.
The police are carrying out an investigation against the trio, who have been accused of having links with a top Hizbul militant, Jahangir Saroori, currently active in Kishtwar.
The police claimed they recovered two pistols, two pistol magazines, 20 rounds of ammunition, four grenades, one wireless set, and a packet of explosive substance from the accused.
The arrests of the youth came after the security establishment expressing concerns of a possible revival of militancy in Chenab Valley areas, especially in Doda.