Wife battling cancer, former ZEO accused of pelting stones on police
SRINAGAR: Three weeks after the J&K High Court quashed his detention order, an octogenarian man from Seelu village in Sopore continues to remain behind bars in Central Jail Baramulla.
Shah Wali Muhammad, a former zonal education officer, was detained under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) in first week of September 2016, and subsequently his PSA was extended by another three months in December.
Despite the court ordering his “immediate release” on December 22, Shah has not been released so far.
His wife Khatija is a cancer patient, and according to her relatives, she is “in an unconsciousness state of affairs” since Shah’s arrest.
“Since she is a cancer patient, she has to take nearly twenty medicines regularly. It was Wali Mohammad who used to ensure she takes the drugs on time,” a relative of Khatija said.
Shah was booked under PSA for allegedly leading an unruly mob and pelting stone on police and paramilitary forces.
According to the police, Shah is 71 years old but his family contend the claim, saying that he is nearly 84 with 13 April 1933 as his date of birth.
Police have described him as a hardcore activist of Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani.
“You are a retired ZEO. You were district president of Hurriyat (G) in 2007 besides member of Majlis Shora (advisory council) and you are continuously indulging in anti-national activities and took part in the shut down call given by the Hurriyat,” reads a dossier issued against him by SSP Baramulla.
“On 28 July 2016, you along with your associates lead an unruly mob at Seelu and pelted stones on police and (paramilitary) force personnel due to which some police personnel sustained serious injuries. A case FIR no 275/2016 u/s 307, 147, 148, 336, 332, 341, 427 RPC/ 3PPD Act stands registered in police station Sopore which is under investigation,” the dossier said.
On 1st September, the dossier alleged, that Shah Wali Mohammad “along with other associates” resorted to “heavy” stone pelting upon police and paramilitary forces due to which some police vehicles got damaged.
“In this regard, a case FIR 371/2016 under section 153A, 147, 148, 149, 336, 307, 427 RPC, 3 PPD Act stands registered in police station Sopore,” says the dossier based on which the deputy commissioner Baramulla issued a detention order under PSA against him on 5 September 2016.
Shah challenged the detention order through his counsel Nasir Qadri who told the court that the allegations levelled against his client were “totally untrue, baseless and false.”
“It is only to deprive (him) of his liberty that they have cooked up story against him which is totally untrue and baseless,” Qadri said.
The ruling PDP-BJP government through government advocate Asif Maqbool vehemently contested the plea, arguing that “the activities of the detenue were of such great magnitude that it became necessary for the statutory authority to detain him by invoking PSA.”
After hearing both the sides, a single bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar quashed the detention order against Shah along with an order issued by Home department led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on December 6 by virtue of which his detention period was extended by three more months. It subsequently directed the government to release him.