Govt using Sopore man’s history to keep him jailed
Sopore: Molvi Abdul Rashid Bhat, 51, a private school teacher and imam from Bomai village of Baramulla district, has been languishing in jail for the last 14 months despite the court giving him bail in March and September in all the cases brought against him by the Sopore police. Far from securing him a release order, both verdicts only brought him renewed Public Safety Act (PSA) charges, perpetuating his incarceration.
All three PSA dossiers slapped against Bhat have been written in a particular way in which his complete biographical data – his birthplace, schooling, qualification, languages, religion and the fact that he crossed over to Pakistan for arms training in 1990, surrendering before the State in 1991 – have been mentioned, demonstrating a clear way of using a person’s history to strengthen the PSA case against him.
Rashid’s eldest son, Rameez Rashid, 27, who left his M Phil studies at Barkatullah University in Bhopal halfway after his father’s arrest, told Kashmir Reader that his father was picked up from his home by government forces on September 25 last year and was sent after a couple of days from Sopore’s Bomai police station to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu with a PSA charge against him.
After seven months of detention in Kot Bhalwal jail, the High Court granted a quash order in his case in April, and he was shifted back first to Tarzoo police station and then Bomai police station, both in Sopore. “He was kept in Bomai police station for almost a month; the police told us to bring absolute bail orders before they would release him. When we finally did, they immediately sent my father to Kot Bhalwal jail again, under a second PSA, and we only came to know this when my brother went to the station to take our father morning tea. We were shocked at what we found there, that they had already sent our father to Kot Bhalwal jail without informing us,” Rameez Rashid told Kashmir Reader.
“They have accused our father of not mending his ways after his release and have charged him again with cases of motivating stone pelters to pelt stones and disturbing public peace and tranquility. But all the charges are fabricated, for since his arrest he has not been released for a single minute nor has he ever motivated any stone pelter or tried to disturb the peace of the area; all charges against him are fake,” Rameez Rashid lamented.
The second release order, granted in September, was again not respected by the Sopore police: they brought Bhat to the Tarzoo police station where he was kept for 20 days before being sent to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu in October, this time under a third PSA. “In the third PSA dossier, he has been accused of being the tehsil president of the Hurriyat G, but the reality is different. He has not been even a member of the Hurriyat, though, yes, he is a member of the Jamat as he teaches in the Jamat School in Bomai village,” Rameez Rashid said.
“The quash orders granted by the High Court should secure the release order of our father who has languished in jail for the last 14 months, but instead of securing him a release order, he has been consecutively slapped with three PSAs, one after the other, under the same, fabricated charges,” Rameez Rashid noted.
“Since he is advancing in years and suffers from a couple of ailments, we requested a shift of jail for which we showed medical certificates to the Sopore police superintendent, but he refused to sign it. My father is suffering from an eye illness and kidney pain,” Rameez Rashid said.
Abdul Rashid Bhat has a wife and four children including three sons and a daughter, waiting at home for his release.