Sopore: Ghulam Mohammad Khan Sopori, 70 years old, is imprisoned in Kot Balwal Jail in Jammu for the past one month under the Public Safety Act (PSA), despite the court giving him bail in March in all the cases slapped against him. The police have arrested him under two of the same sections and have jailed him under the PSA.
Sopori, a resident of Badambagh in Sopore, is a political activist and chairman of the People’s League organisation. He was arrested from the graveyard of Sopore town on February 15 when he had gone there to pay tributes to Ghulam Mohammad Bulla, whose death in custody is said to be the first custodial killing in Kashmir. Sopori was taken to the Sopore police station where he was kept for sixteen days till he was sent to sub-jail Baramulla on judicial remand, Sajad Khan, Sopori’s son, told Kashmir Reader.
Before his arrest, Sopori had visited a doctor at SMHS hospital and had been advised bed rest for his hypertension and disc problem in his back and neck, Sajad said.
“I am worried about his health as he is a heart patient too. During his stay in police station Sopore, he had a hypertension stroke and was referred to Sopore hospital, where his blood pressure was recorded as 110/190,” Sajad said.
“My father was given bail in all the five cases against him on March 7 by the Additional Sessions Judge in Sopore. The cases were under Sections 409, 394, 280, 53 and 404 of the RPC. After he was granted bail, he was not released but brought back to Sopore police station on March 8 and was kept there for 22 days without any charges,” Sajad said.
“On 25th of March, I got a call from Sopore police station that they were shifting my father to Kot Balwal Jail. I immediately rushed to the police station with his medicines and clothes. Later I came to know that he has been slapped again with cases under Sections 394 and 404 of the RPC, and also the Public Safety Act. This is lawlessness,” Sajad said.
“I don’t understand what his crime is. Did he pelt stones? How can such an old person pelt stones or attack anybody? Instead, he was the one to tell youth to protest peacefully, to not pick up stones. They have charged him with crimes that he cannot do. The charges are all fabricated,” Sajad said.