Family of a Kashmiri Convict Cry for Justice

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

The family of a Kashmiri youth who has been languishing in jail from past 13 years Friday alleged that a Kolkata court has been deliberately protracting the case of Sheikh Imran.

They said that from last six months the court has not listed the case of Sheikh Imran for hearing while the Counsel pleading the case on behalf of Imran is himself confused and doesn’t know what is happening on the ground.

The family members told CNS that Sheikh Imran (17) and his cousin Sheikh Farhat (22) were arrested in Srinagar on 19 December, 2003 and taken to Kolkata where a case was lodged against them under Arms Act and waging war against India for an alleged crime which had taken place in Kolkata while the duo were physically present in Srinagar.

They were taken to Kolkata and subsequently lodged in Kolkata Central Jail. “Sheikh Farhat was acquitted in the waging war against India case (Section 235 CrPC) in July 2013. However, Sheikh Imran was shifted to Srinagar Central Jail from Kolkata and since then he is languishing there,” they said.

The family members alleged that Kolkata authorities are deliberately prolonging the case of Sheikh Imran. “If Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees speedy trial as an important safeguard to prevent undue and oppressive incarceration then on what basis court is not listing his case for hearing,” the family members questioned.

The family members said that they had applied for the bail in 2015 and since then waiting for the response from the court.

“Advocate Ajay Datta, the counsel for Sheikh Imran is himself confused while his repeated attempts to draw the attention of the court have not borne any fruits,” the family members said.

Advocate Ajay Dutta, the counsel for the Kashmiri youth said that Sheikh Imran was booked for “waging war against nation” and under Arms Act. “Waging war against the nation was not proved as there were no evidences.”

“I have applied for his bail in the high court a long time ago but the court is yet to call us for hearing which is very unfortunate,” he said adding that he is hopeful sooner or later Court will bail out Sheikh Imran,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kashmir Tehreek Khawateen (KTK), a constituent of Syed Ali Geelani led Hurriyat Conference, Friday staged a protest demanding immediate release of Kashmiri political prisoner languishing in and outside state jails of India.

The women activists led by KTK Chairman Zamrooda Habib appeared in Press Enclave Srinagar to protest over the continuous detention of political prisoners.

“We are protesting to draw the attention of the international community to solve the Kashmir dispute,” they said.

Terming the detention of youth and political leaders including Masarat Aalam, Shabir Ahmed Shah as ‘illegal’, Zamrooda Habib said that hundreds of Kashmiri people have been languishing in state and outside state jails while most of them have completed their jail term. She appealed international community to use their good offices to pave the release of these detained political prisoners.

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