Khateeb is sole bread earner for family of seven, implicated in false cases, family allege
Srinagar: A family of seven from Waghma Bijbehara in Anantnag district is desperately waiting for the release of their sole bread earner, who is behind bars for the last two months.
The family alleged that Khateeb-Ullah Dass has been falsely implicated because he is the brother-in-law of Mugees Ahmad Mir, a well-known militant killed by government forces on November 17 in a brief shootout at Zakura in Srinagar. A police sub-inspector Imran Tak was also killed in the shootout.
Khateeb, a carpenter, was arrested in court in a case registered against him in 2014, in which he is accused of ferrying arms for a militant. Khateeb apparently has been unaware of the case, and his lawyer Fayaz Ahmad Sodagar, contends that if the case existed why he was not arrested earlier, and how it didn’t come up when he was arrested in another case in 2016.
“Khateeb was not absconding but was at home and working like every other person,” Sodagar said.
According to Khateeb’s family, a policeman in civvies from Police Station Anantnag visited Khateeb’s workshop on September 26 and told him to appear in a court hearing at Anantnag on September 28.
Rubia Akther, Khateeb’s sister told Kashmir Reader over telephone that the policeman informed Khateeb of an arrest warrant and of “several” missed court hearings.
She said that Khateeb went to the court hearing where he was put under arrest.
“He applied for bail but it was rejected by the judge till October 12. After October 12 we applied for the bail again but it was not granted,” she said.
Sodagar said that the court has granted his custody to the authorities of district jail Anantnag at Kehribal.
“Police have leveled charges under section 302 and 307 of CRPC under FIR number 216 and 222 of 2014,” he said. “In 2016, a case was registered against Khateeb regarding unlawful activities at Bijbehara police station in which he got a bail.”
Khateeb has been accused of carrying grenades from Srinagar to Anantnag and handing them over to co-accused Hizbul Muhajideen militant Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar alias Hafiz.
Hafiz was arrested on 14 November 2015 from Qazigund. Hafiz, according to police was also involved in an attack on guard post at Court Complex at Shopian in which a policeman was injured.
Sodagar says that Khateeb has been falsely implicated in all the cases.
“My contention to the court is that if he was involved in FIR number 216 and 222 of 2014 then why was he not arrested in 2014? Why was he granted a bail when he was in their custody at Bijbehara,” Sodagar said adding that a confessional statement under police custody cannot be read against the accused.
“We have applied for Bail. It has not been rejected but deferred and still is on board. The court is hearing the arguments on charge. Now the hearing of the case is listed on December 6, Sodagar said.
He alleged the charge sheet has been presented in the court in absence of the accused Khateeb. “This is very important because at the time of filing charge sheet the accused persons should be present before the court. Khateeb was neither informed by police nor produced before court. Police filed challan against him in his absence under section 512 crpc,” he added.
Kashmir Reader contacted Altaf Ahmad Khan, Senior Superintendent of Police Anantnag to seek the details of the FIR 216 and 222 of 2014 however he said that the matter was in the court.
Hajira Banu, Khateeb’s aunt told Kashmir Reader that Hafiz has denied any link with Khateeb in the court.
“Recently on November 23 Khateeb and Hafiz were produced before the court in front of each other. Hafiz told everyone that he has no links with Khateeb so we request concerned authorities to release him,” she said.
Banu added that Khateeb has a large family to support including two small children and an ailing sister.
Most of Khateeb’s hard earned money would be spent on the treatment of his younger sister, Parveena Akther, she said. “There is no male member at their house? He used to earn for his family. They (Khateeb’s sisters) have no one except him to take care of.”