Dr Faktoo won’t be released, police tells Home dept

Srinagar: Police has made it clear to the Home department that Dr Ashiq Hussain Faktoo alias Mohammad Qasim, husband of Dukhtaran-e-Millat chairperson Asiya Andrabi, cannot be released as he was a convict, a report said Monday.
“Some of the PDP leaders were in favour of release of Dr Faktoo,” who is in jail for more than 20 years, the PTI said quoting its sources.
Dr Faktoo was a militant commander before his arrest in 1993 over the ‘murder’ charge of human rights activist H N Wanchoo. He was acquitted by a TADA court in Jammu in July 2001.
The state government booked him under Public Safety Act (PSA) and challenged his acquittal before the Supreme Court where he was sentenced for life.
“The police has made it clear to the Home department that he cannot be released as he was a convict,” the PTI said.
It said police is reviewing cases of 15 jail inmates, which includes four cases each of drug and timber smuggling, who may be freed following directions of the Mufti Sayeed government to release political prisoners.
“A list of 15 people has been sent to the state Home department which contains details about four people arrested for stone pelting, four people for timber smuggling, three cases of theft and another four who have been nabbed in connection with drug related cases,” the sources said.
“The police has left it to the wisdom of state Home department for taking a call about their release,” the sources said. “This was being done in pursuance of orders of the state Chief Minister of March 4 when he had directed the police to release political prisoners and small time criminals from jail.”
In pursuance of this order, state Home department had released Masrat Alam on Saturday, triggering a political storm and bringing strains in the PDP-BJP alliance.