SRINAGAR: A day after he drew a sketch of a Palestinian woman on a Srinagar street, Kashmiri artist Mudasir Gul was arrested and lodged at a police station on Friday.
His family member told Kashmir Reader that Mudasir was taken by police on Friday afternoon to the local police station. A total of 20 individuals have been arrested for participating in pro-Palestine demonstrations in Srinagar, police said.
“Police in Srinagar arrested 20 individuals in connection with violation of Corona Curfew under section 51 DM Act. Two protests were held in Srinagar Friday on Palestine Issue. They were identified on the basis of videography done during the protest,” the police tweeted from its official Twitter handle on Saturday.
“My brother drew the sketch from Thursday afternoon till late evening. On Friday, police arrived at our home at 1pm, and left. An hour later he was taken into custody. But before that he was made to deface his piece of art with black ink,” the family member pleading anonymity said.
“During the night, others in the locality were rounded up too. Elders from the mohallah have asked for their release at the PS. But they have been told to bring another eight locals,” he added.
Police in a statement said that they are keeping close watch on “elements who are attempting to leverage the unfortunate situation in Palestine to disturb public peace and order in the Kashmir valley.”
It warned that irresponsible social media comments that result in actual violence and breaking of law, including COVID protocol, will attract legal action.
The statement said J&K Police is a professional force and sensitive to public anguish, but it has a legal responsibility to ensure law and order as well.
It, however, wouldn’t allow cynical encashment of the public anger to trigger violence, lawlessness and disorder on Kashmir streets. Expressing opinion is a freedom, but engineering and inciting violence on streets is unlawful, it said. Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar urges cooperation of people.
A resident of Padshahi Bagh, Mudasir has studied art for five years at Kashmir University. Now he teaches the same to students at a private centre. Among them are children of police officials, too, his brother added.
Mudasir has made art for over a decade now. He has participated in various exhibitions, one of them organised by J&K Police. Recently he made a snow sculpture at Gulmarg.
Born to a businessman father, Mudasir is the third among five siblings. He makes his living teaching art and making art projects.
For a week now Israel has been attacking Palestinians, killing more than 120, among them several children.