Police arrests protesting ‘social activist’, MLA’s questions govt’s move

Jammu: Social activist, who was at the forefront of demonstrations, seeking justice for 8-year-old allegedly ‘raped’ and murdered in Kathua district last week, was arrested by police.

Reports said that Advocate Talib Hussain was arrested on Sunday evening amid a candle light protest on Kathua highway by over hundred people against the brutal killing of the minor girl–Asifa Bano.

“We had staged a peaceful candle light protest on the highway, seeking justice for the murdered girl last evening”, a relative of the victim said.

He said that as the protesters were lighting candles, the police deployed in the area fired tear smoke shells and used lathi charge, resulting in injuries to at least four persons. One of the injured was shifted to JMC, he said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu S D Singh Jamwal said that Talib was creating ‘law and order’ problem on the national highway and as such was arrested.

“He had blocked the highway for three to four hours and was creating law and order problem in the area”, he said. When asked reasons for resorting to baton charge and tear smoke shells against the demonstrators, the IGP said, “There was actually stone pelting as a result of which four of our personnel were injured and as such we had to take measures to control it.”

The minor girl, found dead near her native village Rassana in Hiranagar on Jan 17, had been missing since January 10 when she had taken some horses for watering in the neighborhood.

Ever since the incident which shocked people across the state, Talib Hussain remained at the forefront of protests, seeking justice for the minor girl.

The incident rocked state assembly also and opposition demanded action against police officers for not taking action swiftly. While the government said that it has suspended the concerned SHO, the opposition has questioned complexity of police. They also raised fingers on police’s claim that only one accused, a 15-year-old, carried the brutal incident, insisting that how can a juvenile ‘dump’ the body all alone.

The opposition legislators also alleged that police was trying to save others who might have helped the minor accused and were trying to hush-up the matter.

Meanwhile, MLA Pahalgam Altaf Kaloo questioned the arrest of a social activist.

Terming the arrest of Talib as “unfortunate”, MLA Kaloo sought the attention of the Speaker and all other members present in the assembly on Monday towards the arrest of a social activist.

Reacting to the question, the minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Javid Mustafa Mir said, “We will get the details and will inform the house regarding his arrest.”

MLA Khansahib Hakeem Yaseen said Talib has not taken up the gun or pelted stones but was seeking justice for the murdered minor girl.

“Talib being a well-qualified person was not involved in any anti-national activity and the reports about his dossier of PSA being prepared will further deteriorate the situation,” the MLA said.

He threatened to disrupt the ongoing assembly session forthwith if the advocate is not released.

Another legislator GM Zaroori said Talib has “committed no sin” as he being a Gujar leader has right to raise the issue of his community.

“This is nothing but pressure tactics of government to silence the voice of those seeking justice,” he said, adding, “I will approach the Supreme Court to seek the justice for the minor girl if the government failed.”


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