School teacher booked under PSA in Kupwara

Orders from 'higher-ups', family told; 'supports militancy, advocates secession': police dossier

School teacher booked under PSA in Kupwara

Srinagar: A private school teacher and a former activist of banned outfit Jama’at-e-Islami J&K has been booked under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) and sent to sub-jail Kupwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Zahoor Abbas Khan, 39, son of Mohammad Abbas Khan, resident of Devar Lolab, was arrested on July 7 and was lodged in Police Station Lolab, family sources told news agency KNS. On July 18, he was booked under PSA and shifted to sub-jail Kupwara, they said.

“Prior to July 7 he was summoned by PS Lolab and when he along with some family members went there, he was detained,” a family member said, adding, “When we argued about his detention, police officials said, we don’t know, we have received directions from higher-ups.”

As per sources, Abbas was a former activist of Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba (IJT), which he left to join the Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI) J&K. The JeI was banned on February 28, 2019, on the directions of the Union Home Ministry headed by Amit Shah.

Abbas, a former district president of IJT, has been accused of holding secret meetings with Jama’at-e-Islami cadres in the area despite the ban and mobilising funds to help detainees of Jama’at-e-Islami cadres, the family said.

“In wake of Covid-19 lockdown, some youths of the area voluntarily came up and distributed food kits among needy families. They had no association with any organisation. What police has mentioned in its dossier (on Abbas) is a white lie,” family members said.

Since February 22, 2019, authorities have detained hundreds of Jama’at leaders and activists across the Valley.

Earlier this month, on July 3, JeI chief spokesperson Advocate Zahid Ali was booked under PSA and sent to Central Jail Srinagar. Ali was taken away by police on June 30 from his residence in Nehama Pulwama and was lodged in PS Kakapora for several days. He had been released only three months ago after remaining in jail for over a year.

According to reports, several Jama’at members have been recently arrested by police and booked under PSA since July 8.

“Zahoor Abbas Khan holds the post of Ameer-e-Halqa for Lolab in JeI. Besides, he is also in close contact with militant outfits and is supporting extremism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere,” the dossier compiled by Kupwara Police mentions.

It also says, “It has been assessed that the subject being a hard-core associate is a constant threat to the security of the State and hell-bent on challenging the sovereignty and integrity of the country. It is strongly felt that if the subject is permitted to remain at large, he will continue advocating the secession of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir from the union of India.”

The family of Abbass has vehemently contested the allegations made in the dossier. “Whatever has been mentioned in the dossier is a brazen and blatant lie against my brother. We will knock the doors of court and fight this injustice in a democratic way,” said Tahir Abbas, brother of the detainee.

“The local police station, CID and CIK wings made no adverse remarks after re-verifying the antecedents of Zahoor. However, they told us that they had strict orders from higher-ups to book him under PSA”, Tahir said. Covid spreading fast, becoming more lethal in south Kashmir.  KNS

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