Qaimoh (Kulgam): His son was only 5 months old when Javaid Ahmad Bhat was picked up by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and charged with “stone pelting”. Now Hamza is almost one year of age and soon his father will be with him, at their home in Qaimoh, Kulgam.
Arrested along with photojournalist Kamran Yousuf on September 5 last year, Javaid has been granted bail by the same Delhi Court that gave bail to Kamran Yousuf earlier this month. His family said that Javaid’s brother and uncle are completing the bail formalities in Delhi and he will be home very soon.
“The most difficult part of my brother’s detention has been that he was not able to see his son for this long period,” Umar Ismail Bhat, Javaid’s younger brother, told Kashmir Reader.
He said that every phone call Javaid made home or every time someone went to meet him at the jail, he enquired about Hamza the most.
“Hamza has just started identifying people. He will now have to get acquainted with his father all over again. That is the most painful part of the whole unfortunate thing,” Umar said.
The family is relieved and happy and continues to maintain that Javaid had nothing to do with the charges the NIA levelled against him.
Muhammad Ismail Bhat, Javaid’s father, and his sons (five of them including Javaid) live on their orchards while Javaid also does part-time work of selling electronic items, door to door.
The family said that Javaid was never involved in any stone-pelting. “They (NIA) said that he was found near encounter sites, which is far from the truth. He works very hard to provide for his family, being the eldest son, and has never indulged in such activities,” the family members said.
“The local police asked us questions when he was picked up and this is what we told them as well,” Umar said.
He argued that there would have been at least one FIR against Javaid if he was as involved in stone-pelting as the NIA made it out to be.
“Can you imagine a stone-pelter of this ‘potential’ not getting booked at least once by the police all these years?” he questioned.
Javaid’s mother, Zareefa, his wife, Nusrat, his father and other family members are trying to not think much of what happened in recent months. “The important thing is he is coming home. We will take it step by step. He is innocent and he will, by the grace of Allah, be acquitted of all the false charges leveled against him,” his father Ismail told Kashmir Reader.
The family is now counting minutes and hours to the time Javaid will arrive home.