Family says he is not getting required health care
Sopore: Septuagenarian Hurriyat leader Ghulam Mohammad Khan Sopori has completed one year in jail despite court quashing PSAs (Public Safety Act) against him twice. He is currently detained in Kathua jail under a third PSA.
Sopori’s continuous detention reflects how PSA, described as a lawless law, is now used to keep political activists behind bars irrespective of age.
Sopori, 71, a resident of Badambagh in Sopore town, is chairman of the People’s League and a senior member of the Hurriyat Conference-led by Syed Ali Geelani. He was arrested from the graveyard of Sopore town on February 15, 2017, when he had gone there to pay tributes to Ghulam Mohammad Bulla, whose death in custody is said to be the first custodial killing in Kashmir.
Sopori, after being arrested was slapped with two consecutive PSAs, first in March and then in June of last year. After being bailed in both the PSA cases, the J&K government came out with a fresh dossier in September in which they accused Sopori of giving a provocative speech at the funeral of Hizb militant Qayoom Najar on September 26, a date on which Sopori was in detention at Sopore police station.
Najar, the longest-surviving militant commander of Sopore, was killed in an encounter along the Line of Control in Uri on September 26. At that time, Sopori was under police detention at Sopore after the J&K High Court on September 15 has quashed a second PSA detention order against him.
Sopori’s family said he is not keeping well and has been denied a proper medical check-up.
“We met him before few days in Kathua jail, he is not keeping well and complained to us that it’s more of a torture centre than jail, we are allowed to come out of our barracks for only one hour, not even this, he was taken to doctor for medical check-up as doctor there has prescribed him some tests, the tests was not done,” Sopori’s son Sajad said.
“I along with my mother went to pay a visit to him, but we were not even allowed to hug our father. We were not allowed to have a proper meeting with him, a net wire wall was in between us, in which my father was sitting on one side and I with my mother on the other side. Keeping a senior citizen person in such condition and not allowing him to meet his family members properly is an extreme level of cruelty,” Sajad lamented.
Already at evening of his age, Sopori is suffering from many ailments like disc problem, blood pressure, knee pain, heart and vision problem but instead of getting extra care, he has been distanced with his family members and is living in a environment where anything can happen to him, Sajad lamented.