A day after a sessions court ordered his release, the Jammu and Kashmir government invoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) against human rights activist Khurram Parvez. He is now being shifted to Kotbalwal jail in Jammu.
Srinagar DC Farooq Ahmad Lone, who booked Khurram under PSA, did not respond to calls. However, J&K government spokesman and Education Minister Nayeem Akhtar said the decision must have been taken by someone in the government. “I am learning it from you… But it must have been taken on merit,” he said.
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The Chairperson of Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances and programme coordinator of the J&K Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), Khurram was picked up by police on September 15 and put under “preventive detention” because police “apprehended he may cause a breach of peace”.
On Tuesday, the Principal District & Sessions Judge, Srinagar, Rashid Ali Dar had set aside the detention orders and directed the J&K Police to release him. The executive magistrate, a revenue officer, who ordered Khurram’s detention, had invoked Section 107 and 151 of RPC against him. But the court reprimanded him and questioned his knowledge of law.
However, police Wednesday booked him under PSA, which allows police to detain a person without trial for up to six months.
“We have been told that he has been booked under PSA and is being shifted to Kotbalwal jail,” said Zahir-ud-din, a member of JKCCS. “We have been told that government has lodged an FIR against him for ‘activities likely to cause breach of peace and hatred among communities’,” he added.
He said Khurram’s family had written to the DC, asking him not to shift him to Jammu as he is physically challenged. “There was no answer,” he said. Khurram lost one of his legs during a landmine blast in 2004.