Saima Bhat

In the third phase of the ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, about 30 people, including the mother of KLF founder late Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, were arrested from the Dastageer Sahab Shrine, Saria Bala in Lal Chowk.

The program held on Wednesday at Dastageer Sahab Shrine in Saria Bala was led by SM Afzal and it included 12 women besides other members of JKLF. The arrested included a 4 year old kid as well.

Before courting arrest a procession was held from Shrine in Sarai Bala towards Amira Kadal Bridge. The people in the procession shouted pro freedom and slogans against the life imprisonment awarded to Kashmiris. The procession concluded after 30 activists courted arrest.

“JKLF is offering voluntary arrests for Kashmiri brethren in jails. Kashmiris who are languishing in jails are being subjected to severe torture. They are being awarded life sentences and other harsh punishments. JKLF will always stand by the prisoners and will always take these kinds of steps for their benefit,” SM Afzal said.

The ‘Jail Bharo’ program will continue; its  fourth phase will be held at KhanKah in Zaina Kadal and then in Abhi Guzar.

On Wednesday, Abdul Rasheed, Rafiq Ahmad, Sidiq Shah, Ishtiyaz Ahmad were part of the procession who courted arrest. Ahsan Untoo, a human rights activist, was also present during the protest march was not arrested. The ladies who took part in the ‘Jail Bharo’ programe included the mother of late Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, his three sisters, Zahida, Mubeena and Mahmooda, wife of imprisoned Showkat Ahmad Khan ,Mother of Mudassar Zargar, sister of disappeared Abdul Hamid Mir, Mtr Mubeena Bhat and Mtr Rafiqah begum. Mohammad Maqbool Bhat was hanged in Tihar Jail in 1984, and is buried inside the jail.

All the shops in the area were open except for the road side vendors and three wheelers, who were asked by state police to leave the place till the ‘Jail Bharo’ programe was over. “I didn’t close down my shop because I am not afraid. We have been living with the same situation for last 20 years now,” said a shopkeeper in Sarai Bala.


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