PDP’s Parra Rearrested: Report

SRINAGAR: Soon after he was granted bail by the NIA court in a case of “terror funding”, PDP youth wing leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Para was detained again for questioning in a separate militant-related case, reported The Indian Express.

The Counter Intelligence wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police detained Para immediately after his release from District Jail, Ambphalla, on Saturday evening.

“We had received a message from Counter Intelligence Kashmir (CIK) to collect Para from jail as he was wanted by them for questioning in connection with FIR No. 31 registered with them in Srinagar,” newspaper The Indian Express quoted a senior jail official as having said.

The official expressed ignorance about the details of the FIR. While the police’s counter-intelligence wing remained silent, sources said the FIR pertains to a “terror funding case”.

“It is an open FIR and Waheed’s name is not mentioned. Several of (PDP chief) Mehbooba Mufti’s relatives and aides have already been questioned in this case,” the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

“This case was filed after Waheed was arrested by the NIA,” the source added.

Quoting Alok Bambroo, an associate of Para’s counsel senior advocate P N Raina newspaper The Indian Express reported that the docket containing the court order granting bail to Para was given to jail officials around 4 pm on Saturday. However, they delayed his release for another two hours saying the documents were being prepared, until an inspector and some other policemen from CIK reached the jail in a vehicle and picked up Para, the report quoted Bambroo as having said.

According to the report, Bambroo said the policemen told Para they were taking him to the joint interrogation centre (JIC) for questioning. “On Sunday, I visited the JIC here, but officials told me that they were still questioning him,” Bambroo said. He said the police did not disclose the grounds of Para’s detention after the bail order.

Nearly one and a half months after he was arrested by the NIA for alleged terror links, Para was on Saturday granted bail against a personal bond and surety of Rs 1 lakh each. Special Judge Sunit Gupta said that “offences, particularly falling under Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA), are not prima facie made out against the applicant/accused”.

The judge highlighted various loopholes in the NIA case, pointing out that neither the original nor the supplementary chargesheet has a “reference of the present applicant”, and he is referred to as “suspected accused in the said case”.

The judge questioned the basis of Para’s arrest on the “so-called disclosure statement” of militant Syed Naveed Mushtaq Shah alias Naveed Baba, noting that its “legal value” was “seriously hit by Section 25 of the Evidence Act”, which says that such confessional statement can only be recorded under Section 164 CrPC by a Magistrate. Not even one protected witness had named Para, the judge said, according to report.

Para was arrested by the NIA on November 25 following a disclosure statement by Hizbul Mujahideen’s Naveed Baba, who had been arrested along with then DySP Davinder Singh on January 11, 2020, said the report.

Para’s arrest had come three days after he had filed his nomination from Pulwama for the District Development Council elections. He won the election while in custody.

Earlier on Saturday evening, PDP chief Mufti posted on Twitter: “Despite NIA Court granting bail to @parawahid after thorough court proceedings, he has now been detained by CIK in Jammu. Under what law & for what crime has he been arrested? This is brazen contempt of court. Request [Lt Gov Manoj Sinha] @manojsinha ji to intervene so that justice is served.’’

Quoting sources in the NIA newspaper The Indian Express reported that the agency would challenge Para’s bail in the High Court.

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