SHOPIAN: Two more men from Shopian affiliated with the now-banned Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI) have been booked under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA). One of them is an engineer and the other a school principal. Both were arrested along with hundreds of Jama’at members last month.
Mubashir Hussain Rather, 45, resident of Awneera village, is the principal of a school run by the Falah-i-Aam Trust. After being booked under PSA, he was shifted to Kot Balwal Jail in Jammu on Friday.
According to family sources, Mubashir has been working in the Shah-e-Hamdan school at Awneera for several years. They said he was arrested three days before the Jama’at was banned.
“He has four children including three daughters. His family is dependent on him for livelihood and for the children’s education,” Mubashir’s brother, Muhammad Shafi Rather, told Kashmir Reader.
He said the family is not aware on what grounds Mubashir has been booked under the PSA.
“All we know is that he was offering his five prayers daily and performing his professional duties at school. He had never been arrested or detained in any kind of case, even in 2016. We were surprised, rather shocked, to know he has been sent to a Jammu jail,” Muhammad Shafi added.
Another person who has been shifted to Kot Balwal Jail along with Mubashir is engineer Manzoor Ahmad Itoo, 44, resident of Durpora village.
Manzoor was also arrested three days before the ban on Jama’at from a neighbouring village. Family members said that he has been working as Junior Engineer (JE) since 2002 in a government department and had never been arrested before.
“He has two children and his wife at home, who are wholly and solely dependent on him,” said Aaqib Ahmad Itoo, nephew of Manzoor.
Family members said the government accused Manzoor of distributing money to people for stone-pelting, a charge they said was nothing but a lie.
“Everyone knows him. He remained busy in his official work and in his family affairs,” Aaqib said.
Family members said that after Manzoor was picked up by police from his home last month, he was kept at Zainpora police station.
“Then they shifted him to Pulwama jail. When we tried to get bail, we were asked to go to the High Court. We did that and on 23rd March was the hearing of his case, but the government shifted him just a day before the hearing to Kot Balwal Jail in Jammu,” another family member said.
The family said that Manzoor last year had become the Amee-e-Halqa (local official) of the JeI and that was why the government arrested him.
Family members added that Manzoor was currently posted at the Block Development Office Zainpora in Shopian district.