1989 Rubaiya Sayeed kidnapping case invoked by police to book JKLF leader under PSA

1989-rubaiya-sayeed-kidnapping-case-invoked-by-police-to-book-jklf-leader-under-psaPolice has invoked the 1989 kidnapping case of Rubaiya Sayeed to detain a JKLF leader, Noor Muhammad Kalwal under infamous Public Safety Act (PSA).

The PSA dossier of Kalwal prepared by SSP Srinagar states that the JKLF leader was known for his past activities which can be inferred from the fact that for his release in 1989, Rubaiya Sayeed daughter of then Home Minister of India Mufti Muhammad Sayeed was kidnapped by the militant outfit.

Rubaiya Sayeed was kidnapped on December 8, 1989, days after her father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed became the first Muslim home minister of India in the V P Singh government. She was released on December 13 in exchange for release of five JKLF militants including Noor Muhammad Kalwal.

“You are a known ‘incorrigible secessionist’, who has figured adversely in police records since long and till date not mend ways and activities and continues to indulge in highly objectionable illegal activities,” reads the police dossier against Kalwal.

It states that after eruption of militancy, Kalwal became one of the important members of JKLF. “You obtained arms training and started working in close coordination with Muhammad Yaseen Malik, Javaid Ahmad Mir, Ishfaq Majeed Wani and other top JKLF commanders. Subsequently, with the change in scenario, you also changed your strategy and joined Hurriyat Conference (Yaseen Group) which claims to be fighting for ‘secession for J&K from the Union of India’. This change is basically of strategy and not of the idea”.

The authorities invoked PSA against Kalwal on September 19 along with Hurriyat (G) chief spokesman, Ayaz Akbar and both were shifted them to Kotbalwal jail, Jammu.

While the police dossier doesn’t mention any FIR against Kalwal, it, however, accused him of being a part of a “well-knit conspiracy”.

“It appears that under a well-knit conspiracy, you and other associates are intentionally resorting to such activities, which disturb public peace. The activities of you and like-minded elements contribute to the overall surcharged atmosphere created by secessionist elements, who have been sponsoring strikes,” the dossier reads adding, “In order to stop Kalwala from indulging in such activities, his detention under the provisions of PSA at this stage has become imperative.”

The police dossier added that Kalwal’s activities are highly prejudicial in the maintenance of public order and “warrant” immediate preventive measures.

After the outbreak of unrest in the Valley on July 9, authorities have booked at least 450 people under PSA so far to foil anti-India protests and restore normalcy.

Advocate Shafkat Hussain said successive regimes in the State have been using the PSA with impunity. “The law has been misused randomly in J&K to suppress dissent voices of the people.”

The PSA, which allows a person to be detained without a charge sheet or trial for months, was promulgated in 1978, ostensibly to target timber smugglers. But up to 1990, it was frequently used by governments against political opponents. After the eruption of militancy, the law was used repeatedly to postpone or avoid normal investigations and trial.

A detention order under PSA can be issued by a district magistrate or divisional commissioner, and an individual could initially be detained for up to two years for “acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State”, and for up to a year for “acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order”.

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