An NIA court has extended the detention period of photojournalist Kamran Yusuf and one Javed Bhat, arrested in a stone-pelting case in Kashmir and booked under Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act, from 90 days to 180 days. The agency arrested the two in the first week of September and his 90-day custody ended on December 4.
NIA had put an application in the District and Sessions Judge Poonam Bamba’s court, seeking extension of the detention period, and submitted that the investigation for collecting evidence related to the accused is in progress and some more time is required to complete it.
Defence counsel Warisha Farasat submitted that the only allegation by the NIA made against the accused Kamran Yusuf in its applications for extension of judicial custody is that he was present at the venues of stone-pelting and that these are insufficient. It is also submitted that the accused is a journalist and his presence at such places to cover incidents cannot be the basis of criminal implications.
After listening to both sides of the argument, the court said that it was “satisfied for NIA’s prayer for more time”.
A bail application moved on behalf of Yusuf was deferred to December 14 after NIA submitted that responses from the Press Council of India are awaited.
The court sent both the accused to judicial custody till January 3, 2018. Nine other persons have been arrested in the same case, including son-in-law of Hurriyat Leader Syed Geelani.