Police arrest scholar for ‘anti-poll remarks’

Mushtaq Ahmad
Baramulla: Protests erupted in Hadipora village of Rafiabad area here Saturday police Saturday arrested an Islamic scholar and writer on charges of “inciting” people to boycott elections.
55-year Dr Ghulam Qadir, a Phd scholar and a noted writer, was arrested late Friday after he allegedly asked a congregation at a local mosque to stay away from elections.
As the news of his arrest spread in the area, hundreds of people including women and children took to the streets and staged demonstrations. Shouting pro-freedom slogans, the protesters marched to the police station Dangiwacha to press for Qadir’s release.
Meanwhile, in Srinagar Jama’at-e-Islami while condemning Dr Qadri’s arrest alleged that he had been arrested on baseless charges.
“Dr Qadir is a renowned scholar and has many international publications to his credit and is engaged in spreading the message of Islam,” Jama’at spokesman Zahid Ali said in a statement.
He said “the people at the helm of affairs in the state have begun to see his social and religious activities with aversion. The state is trying to bar him from continuing his peaceful activities,” he.
The spokesman also condemned the “arrest spree launched by police across Kashmir valley.”