Elderly hurriyat leader labelled hardcore provocateur in PSA dossier

Elderly hurriyat leader labelled hardcore provocateur in PSA dossier

SRINAGAR: District Secretary Hurriyat (G), Kulgam- Mohammad Ramzan Sheikh, detained under a Public Safety Act (PSA) and shifted to Kotbalwal Jail Jammu, has been labelled as hardcore provocateur of stone pelting by police in the PSA dossier against him. It is the third PSA on Ramzan, who is in his mid 60s.
The detention order passed on 27 March 2019 by District Magistrate, Kulgam says that Ramzan, resident of Rampora Kulgam, is a farmer by occupation who with time developed strong association with Hurriyat activists.
Challenging the detention order in J&K High Court, advocate Mir Shafkat Hussain, says no fresh activity has been attributed to detain Ramzan.
The court has already issued notice to Principal Secretary, Home department, J&K, District Magistrate, Kulgam and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Kulgam.
“You are involved in provoking/ motivating the youth of the area to indulge in stone pelting. You have been found involved in forcing the business establishments to close their shops whenever there is a call of strike from separatist leaders. You play a key role in organizing ‘chalo calls’ and deliver proactive speeches in mosques to motivate youth of the area to take part in violent activities,” the detention order states.
“Ramzan has 10 FIR’s registered against him at police station Kulgam and has been detained under public safety Act (PSA) -1978 in 2016 and 2017 as well but that has not deterred him to shun the path of violence,” the dossier reveals.
Hussain said the earlier detentions were overturned by court on the grounds of lacunae in police dossier, while as “no fresh activity was attributed to the detenue and also the detenue was not supplied with material for his detention order passed against him”.
A query by rights group Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative through an RTI found that between March 2016 and August 2017, 941 petitions were filed in the J&K HC for quashing of PSA. Of these 764 (81 per cent) were quashed by the HC.
In most of the PSA related judgements, the court has slammed police for “non application of mind”. Some of the observations like “upholding personal and civil liberties” are common remarks.
Hussain, who over the past twenty years has been fighting PSA detentions, said, “It (PSA) is an abuse of human rights where a person without any fault is being put behind bars. Nobody is physically released.”
“Over the past few years the detentions have risen three-fold. Once a detention is quashed, one cannot hold the person for the same offence as already the punishment has been served. But they (Police authorities) are keeping them behind bars and no one is questioning them,” he said.
This has been a common trend where police dossiers are same and district magistrates “act like rubber stamps of police”, Hussain said.
Ramzan’s wife Mugli Begum said the family is skeptic about his release.
“From last four years, he has been in jails, there is proper no release. It has been very hard for me to deal but what can be done, we have to go through this harassment and punishment,” she said.