Police issued non-involvement certificate in Feb 2017, but authorities yet to revoke suspension
Sopore: It has been a double whammy for a Sopore family with husband and wife suspended from services, and the husband jailed under repeated public safety acts (PSAs) since 2016.
Even though the wife, originally accused of involvement in unlawful activities, has been issued a non-involvement certificate by police in Feb 2017, she continues to remain suspended.
Sofia – wife of Mohd Ashraf Malik, resident of Tawheed Bagh, Sopore – says the suspensions reflect the extent to which to which the authorities go to harass people.
Malik, a 43-year-old employee of Education department, was arrested in December 2016 and languishes in jail under consecutive PSAs. Prior to his arrest he was suspended from his job as a junior assistant, and what is more his wife, a ReT teacher, was suspended from her services, in what she describes as pressure tactics.
The PSA dossier against Malik described him as a member of Hurriyat-G, accused of instigating the youth of the town for creating law and order problem. Sofia calls the charges baseless and says he has been targeted for being son-in-law of senior Hurriyat leader Haji Sheikh Mohammad Yousuf, who was recently released from jail after spending 16 months in jail under four consecutive PSAs.
Sofia says her husband did take part in a few protests, like the rest of Kashmir after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in 2016.
“It was no exception but he was targeted for being son-in-law of senior Hurriyat leader Haji Sheikh Mohammad Yousuf,” Sofia said.
She says that for most of the uprising months, Malik was tending to her only sister who was under treatment for brain tumour in a Srinagar hospital.
“But Sopore police didn’t listen and arrested my husband, while his sister still bedridden at home,” she said.
Calling the suspension from services as dirty tactics, Sofia said that police raided their house many times to arrest her husband, while he was not present.
“So they used dirty tactics and got him suspended from services in September 2016, but they didn’t stop there, they even got me suspended on the charges of involvement in unlawful activities,” she said.
“Even after they arrested my husband in December 2016, they didn’t find it necessary to revoke my suspension even after the police has given me non-involvement certificate in February 2017,” Sofia said.
Sofia had received the suspension order of her husband at their home in September 2016. A few days later, when she received another suspension order, she first thought it to be some mistake.
“But after opening it, I was shocked to finding the suspension order was in my name,” she said.
She said Malik was finally arrested December 16, 2016 from their home, and kept in Sopore police station for a month. Later he was sent to Kot Balwal Jail on January 11, 2017 under a PSA.
The High Court quashed the PSA in June 2017, but instead of releasing him, she said, he was brought from Kot Balwal Jail and kept in Sopore police station for around 20 days.
“After Eid he was shifted to Kathua under the second PSA where his health got affected, so we requested for his jail shift and he was shifted to central jail in Srinagar,” she said.
In December 2017, High Court again quashed the PSA against Malik but again he was shifted to Sopore police station for some days before being taken to Baramulla sub-jail under judicial remand, where he is languishing from last three months.
“Police got both of us suspended so that they can arrest my husband but even after arresting him on fabricated charges, I stand suspended – even after receiving the non-involvement certificate from the ones who at the first place got me suspended; the Sopore police and the Zonal Education Officer.”
Despite her several visits to Deputy Commissioner Baramulla’s officer over the last year, the authorities have not revoked her suspension.
While both the bread winners remain suspended from services, the aged parents and three children of Malik desperately wait for his release.
Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Nisar Ahmad Naqash could not be reached on his phone despite repeated efforts.