April 6, 2011 12:02:54 am
Teenager Faizan Rafiq,who was detained under the Public Safety Act for being allegedly involved in stone-pelting,finally came out of jail on Tuesday afternoon.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah ordered his release on humanitarian grounds after the 14- year-old’s detention created a furore across Jammu and Kashmir. The release orders,issued by the state Home Department,had reached Kathua Jail on Monday evening. But the boy had to spend one more night as jail rules barred any release after 5 pm.
Faizan denied he was involved in stone-pelting. I was going for tuitions and returning home during the unrest. One evening,policemen arrested me from my home in Anantnag, he said after his release.
He said he will never forget the days in detention. If there is fresh trouble in my locality,I will go to my maternal grand-parents as they (policemen) may again arrest me, he said. Faizan,who spent two months in detention,including 12 days at the police station,appealed to the Valley youth not to pelt stones.
You should devote yourselves to studies rather than pelting stones, he said,thanking all those who campaigned for his release as well as Omar Abdullah,who ordered his release.
Recalling his days in jail,he said: I used to cry all the time in jail thinking of my parents and brother. Having lost hope of continuing my studies,I used to think that I may have to now work as a labourer.
It was a happy reunion for Faizan with his parents as they could not control their tears when he came out of jail around 1 pm.
Thanking Omar Abdullah for his gesture,the boy’s father Rafiq Ahmed Hakeem denied Faizan was ever involved in stone-pelting.
Hakeem said his requests to release the boy on bail were rejected twice. He said Faizan was 14-and-a-half years old. I got married 16 years ago. So,how can Faizan be 16? he asked.
Faizan was arrested from Anantnag town early this year on charges of stone-pelting. After remaining in police custody for 12 days,he was sent to Srinagar Central jail and after 10 days there,he was detained under PSA and shifted to Kathua Jail on February 23.
In his detention orders,Faizan was stated to be 27 years old. Soon after his release,social networking websites were flooded with messages of jubilation.
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