Protests erupted at Maisuma area here on Saturday against the continuous detention of a local youth. Witnesses said that life was completely disrupted after a word spread in the area that local youth Ashiq Ahmed has been again booked under Public Safety Act for the consecutive fifth time.
Police had arrested Aashiq Ahmad of Maisuma on charges of allegedly attacking a senior police officer during protest last year. Pertinently, the then Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Kothibagh, Fahad Tak, was injured when he was hit by a stone on his face during clashes at Maisuma on December 25, 2015.
Following Aashiq’s arrest on 9 January, 2016 last year the area had witnessed violent protests. Again on Saturday scores of youth took to streets and staged protests. The area observed a complete shutdown against demanding release of Ashiq Ahmed.
Witnesses said that the protestors fought pitched battle with police and paramilitary forces. Later police swung into action and fired tear smoke canisters to disperse the protestors. However, the protestors offered stiff resistance.
The clashes between government forces and protesting youth affected business in the area. Shopkeepers downed their shutters and vacated from the area while transport did not ply on the road.
A police official said that the arrested youth Ashiq Ahmed is one of the accused in the attack on SDPO Fahad Tak. “37 cases are registered against this youth,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Muhammad Yasin Malik condemned the slapping of yet another PSA on a Maisuma youth Ashiq Hussein who is languishing in Kotbalwal jail from last many years.
According to a statement issued here, a JKLF the spokesman said that Ashiq Hussain has been today served his 5th PSA at Kotbalwal jail.
“Police had last February slapped PSA on him that was quashed by high court recently. Police booked him under some new cases and after court granted him bail in all cases, authorities to prolong his incarceration, today booked him under a fresh PSA,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that similarly, another youth of the same area Faisal Aslam Khan is also languishing in jail from a long time and despite court orders is not releasing him from custody.
Terming the slapping of PSA to prolong incarceration of these young boys as ‘state sponsored terrorism’, JKLF chairman said, “Thousands of youth are in jails and the rulers are prolonging their incarceration by using illegal black law against them, which is undemocratic and inhuman.”