Kawa family stages protest in Srinagar

Kawa family stages protest in Srinagar
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Family of Kashmiri man accused in Red Fort attack appeal govt to intervene

Umar Fayaz/Mir Mudasir
SRINAGAR: Family members of Bilal Ahmad Kawa, who Delhi police and Gujarat Anti-Terror Squad claimed was Lashkar-e-Toiba suspect in 2000 Red Fort attack, on Friday staged protest in Srinagar demanding his release. They appealed the state government to intervene so that their son is not falsely framed in the case as happened with several other Kashmiris in last three decades.
Kawa was sent to 10-day police custody by a Delhi court on Thursday, a day after he was arrested at Delhi airport. He was accused of facilitating money through hawala in Red Fort attack in 2000.
Carrying banners emblazoned with, “My name is Bilal Kawa, I am not a terrorist, I am innocent”, at Srinagar’s Press Enclave, Kawa’s family members said their son was being framed in false case.
Kawa’s cousin, Hinna, said that Bilal had gone to visit his family including his wife and two daughters in Delhi.
“Bilal’s brother, Niyaz Ahmad Kawa, resides in Delhi. Bilal and his family would stay with him every winter to avoid cold winters,” she said.
Mohammad Shafi, Kawa’s uncle, said that his nephew was only a teenager when Red Fort attack took place. “He went to Delhi under his own name, carrying vegetables and Kashmiri bread for his family,” he said.
“My son is a leather dealer and has no connection with militants. If my son was involved in the 17-year-old case, why he was not arrested by the police since then,” questioned Kawa’s mother while appealing the government to intervene and get his son freed.