By Fazil Qayoom
SRINAGAR: For more than a month now, senior resistance leader Shabir Ahmad Shah has been detained at Rajbagh Police Station. Law says there has to be a reason why he has been put behind the bars. While the reasons are evident in the larger context of Kashmir insurgency, the police refuse to say why Shah has been detained.
Right from the Station House Officer (SHO) concerned to the topmost police officer of Kashmir region, police do not want to talk about his detention.
Shah, who is the chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), a constituent of Syed Ali Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference, has spent almost 20 years of his life in jail and had been declared as Prisoner of Conscience by the Amnesty International.
The SHO of Rajbagh Police Station, Kuldeep, told Kashmir Reader reporter that he can’t talk about Shah’s detention, adding the Superintendent of Police concerned would be the better person to answer.
Superintendent of police (south city) Sandeep Chaudhary also refused to divulge the charges or the reason for Shah’s detention.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani told this reporter to contact the SHO concerned. When contacted again, the SHO refused to comment.
Huriyat Conference (G) believes that Shah’s association with the conglomerate was the reason for his “illegal detention”.
Shah’s fresh spell of detention started on the night of February 24, when he addressed the media in the capacity of Huriyat (G) general secretary.
Shah not only hailed Kashmiri militants but also termed them “a vital part of freedom struggle” during his interaction with media.
“In my view Shah sahib’s association with Hurriyat Conference didn’t go well with the government. This cost him his freedom,” Hurriyat (G) spokesman Ayaz Akbar told Kashmir Reader.
Akbar said that no one can deny the efforts of Shah in forging unity among the freedom camp.
“His untiring efforts towards uniting pro-freedom groups are other reasons for his detention but the main reason is his affiliation with Huriyat (G),” Akbar added.
Asked why conglomerate doesn’t approach court against Shah’s detention, Akbar said the past experiences had taught them “many lessons”.
“Given our experiences we didn’t approach the court as police cooks up cases against the leaders to keep them in jails. This apprehension prevented us to take any such step,” he said.
“Only option left for pro-freedom camp is to register protests but then protests are also not allowed,” he said.
Shah’s jail journey began in 1968, when he was 14 and was arrested for leading a student demonstration. He has been in and out of jail or under house arrest ever since.