Two Years After Son’s Killing, Mother Arrested Under UAPA For Posing With A Weapon, ‘Helping Militants’

SRINAGAR:  More than two years after the killing of her son, a mother of the slain militant of Hizbul Mujahideen has been arrested in south Kashmir. According to the family, Naseema Akhtar, mother of slain Tawseef Ahmad Sheikh has been arrested during a raid at her residence in Rampora area of Redwani in south Kashmir’s Kulgam District on June 20.

A funeral procession of slain militant Tawseef Ahmed of Rohmoo village of Kulgam, who was killed along with his four associates during an encounter in Badigam village of Shopian on May 6, 2018, KL Image by Shah Hilal

Reports quoting family said, she was detained by the Police during a cordon and search operation. The Police, locals said, “were looking for her daughter too.”

Tawseef was killed in the same encounter in which lecturer turned militant Mohammed Rafi Bhat and three other militants were killed. The encounter took place in Badigam village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on May 6, 2018.

As reported earlier, the clashes that broke during the encounter and afterwards left five civilians dead as well, and more than 50 people injured.

Police Version

The police have said that Naseema Banoo wife of Ab Salam Sheikh, resident of Rampora Qaimoh was arrested on June 20, 2020 in a criminal case with FIR no 30 of 2018 registered under sections 13B, 17, 18, 18B, 19, 39 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

As per the police, the arrest was done in compliance of provisions of law. She, police said has been under legally sanctioned custody in women police station Anantnag ever since her arrest.

“The arrested person is involved in a serious criminal case. The photo of the arrested woman in which she is toting an automatic weapon and posing next to her son who was an active terrorist at the time speaks it all. The photo is just the beginning of her criminal involvements. She is involved in much more serious offences and her role has surfaced in recruiting at least 2 youth into terrorist ranks, arranging arms ammunition, communication and logistics for terrorists and terror organisations.” the police said.

“Just because she happens to be a woman or the mother of a killed militant does not make her immune to arrest. It is the prime duty of the police to arrest criminals to safeguard the people it serves and that is what it has done. Anyone who wishes to challenge the decision is free to approach the court of law for redressal,” it added.

The Police has also warned against “twisting the facts”. “Many social media posts have been generated and shared which have twisted the facts of the matter in order to cause disturbance of peace and tranquility. Police has taken cognisance of the matter and anyone trying to instigate others through whatsoever means will be prosecuted against,” read the statement.

As quoted by various media outlets, SSP Kulgam, Gurinderpal Singh, confirmed the arrest and the statement issued by the police.

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