A 27-year-old woman, who in 2012 allegedly accompanied her husband and their three minor children on his return to Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) under a scheme for the return and rehabilitation of former militants, was on Monday sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and fined Rs 20,000.
In 2005, Sheraz Ahmed alias Shakir married Faiza Begum in PoK and the couple travelled to J&K with their three minor children in 2012 via Nepal. While Faiza – a Pakistani national – was booked under provisions of Foreigners Act and Passport Act, Sheraz was arrested under provisions of Unlawful Activities Act, Enemy Agents Ordinance, Conspiracy, and Egress and Internal Movement Control Ordinance (E&IMCO).
On Monday, Principal Sessions Judge, Jammu, Vinod Chatterji Koul sentenced Faiza to three years’ imprisonment and fined Rs 10,000 for violating provisions of Section 14-A of the Foreigners (Amendment) Act, 2004, which says that no foreigner shall enter into, or remain in any protected area except under and in accordance with a permit issued by Central government or any officer authorised by it in this behalf.
She was sentenced with imprisonment for a further two years and fined Rs 10,000 more under provisions of the Passport Act for entering India without a valid passport, with the judge stating that the two sentences shall run concurrently.
According to the prosecution, DySP (Operation) Gool in 2012 received information that two militants, Ghulam Ali and Sheraz, have returned to India via Nepal after having undergone arms training in PoK. A police party in Jammu then arrested Ghulam, Sheraz, and Faiza.
On Monday, the judge sentenced Faiza but acquitted Sheraz and Ghulam Ali for want of evidence.
However, the case of Faiza was different, with the judge observing that she is a resident of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and there is not dispute over it.
In 2010, the then Omar Abdullah government had announced a rehabilitation policy for Kashmiri militants who had crossed over to Pakistan between 1989-2009 for arms training, and who, after a change of heart, wanted to leave the gun and return home to lead a peaceful life. It identified four points for the return of those former militants – the Wagah border in Punjab, the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, and the Chakkan Da Bagh and Salamabad LoC crossing points in J&K’s Poonch and Uri respectively.