SRINAGAR: The authorities have booked a septuagenarian from north Kashmir’s Sopore areas under public safety act (PSA) for the third time in row despite orders from the court to release him. The 75-year-old former forest officer Mohammad Subhan Wani, hailing from Dangerpora village of Sopore has been declared as threat to peace and tranquility by the police. Wani is affiliated to Syed Ali Geelani led Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.
Wani was taken into custody by Sopore police on August 18, 2016 when anti-India uprising triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani was going on in Kashmir Valley. Arrested from his residence, the administration later slapped PSA on him on August 20 and sent to Kathua jail where he remained for three months. The PSA was quashed by High court in late November 2016. However, the court order did not end Wani’s imprisonment. The police immediately slapped PSA on him again. He was sent to sub-jail Kupwara where he remained for seven months. His relatives approached the court challenging the detention orders. The PSA was quashed by the high court on 10 June. However, two days later on June 12, PSA was slapped on him third time. He was again sent to Kathua Jail in Jammu where he is presently lodged.
Mir Shafqat Hussain, who has expertise in habeas corpus cases, described the repeated detention as brazen misuse of authority by the state. “The government agencies have no right to slap a person with PSA on same grounds. The agencies enjoy impunity in Kashmir. These kinds of cases are very much evident on ground because our system is weak. And more importantly the persons imprisoned under PSA are never let out. It is like a revolving door,” he said.
Wani has two sons and a daughter who continue to struggle to get him bailed out. According to his elder son Farooq Ahmad Wani, “My father is very old. He is suffering from serious health ailments including heart blockage, thyroid, sugar and prostate, for which a surgery needs to be done immediately.”
“On November 20 we were successful in securing his bail orders from the High Court. But after receiving his bail orders, police brought him from Kathua jail and put him in Sopore police station for almost 20 days. Instead of releasing him from there, the police shifted him to Sub Jail Baramulla for a week. But we didn’t lose hope; we applied for another bail and sent his bail orders to Baramulla jail. Even after his second bail they didn’t release him and sent him again to remand at Sopore police station, from where he was sent to Kupwara jail and has been there for the past two months,” Farooq said.
Farooq concedes that his father is affiliated to Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and has been briefly jailed in the past also. “This time he has been repeatedly booked on same grounds, which is travesty of justice” he said.