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11 mobile phones seized from MLA Hostel in Srinagar

32 senior leaders of the regional parties were shifted recently to the MLA Hostel in Srinagar.

32 senior leaders of the regional parties were shifted recently to the MLA Hostel in Srinagar.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

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Raids come hours after altercation over frisking of a child

Security forces searched the MLA Hostel, where 32 senior leaders of the regional parties were shifted recently, and recovered 11 mobile phones, hours after the inmates alleged humiliation of their families, including frisking of a two-year-old child of a National Conference (NC) leader.

“We recovered 11 mobile phones. These phones were smuggled in,” Additional Director-General of Police Muneer Khan said.

The searches were conducted around 4 p.m., two hours after the families of the 32 detained leaders met them and after a joint protest staged on the premises of the MLA Hostel by the detained leaders against the “humiliation and harassment” of their visiting families by the security forces.

The upper jacket of Tanvir Sadiq, the two-year-old son of Tanvir Sadiq, political secretary to NC vice-president Omar Abdullah, was “unzipped”, and the child was body-searched” before he was allowed to meet his father along with his mother and grandfather. “The kid has met his father several times since August 5. However, this is the first time he was body-searched,” a relative of Mr. Sadiq told The Hindu.

PDP leader and former Minister Naeem Akhtar’s daughter Sheryaar Khanam alleged that she was forced to taste the curd before allowing it into the sub-jail for her ailing father. Another PDP leader Ashraf Mir’s wife said she was asked to remove socks so as to “humiliate her”.

These incidents infuriated the inmates, who converged on the premises to stage a joint protest. However, Mr. Muneer Khan termed these allegations “baseless”.

Iltija Mufti, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter, alleged that it was at Mr. Muneer Khan’s orders that these raids were conducted. “One assumes, certain J&K police officers drunk on newfound power, are doing this to settle political scores,” she said.

She also tagged the Union Home Minister’s Twitter handle with a message: “They are being treated worse than hardened criminals. Today, a detainee’s three-year-old infant son was nearly strip-searched, and this resulted in an altercation between political detainees. The Union Home Minister should personally look into this to take stock of the situation,” she said. “Wondering if the PMO and HMO are in the loop about their vicious and vindictive behaviour,” she said.

She also accused Mr. Muneer Khan of facilitating the release of a former MLA “to engineer a new political front because the MLA in question has been visiting the families of the detainees and recommended them to contact a former Minister to secure their release from the sub-jail”.

She said the condition to secure their release depended on the willingness of the detainees to join a new front. “Since when has it become normal for an officer to interfere...in political matters...,” she asked.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 2:16:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/11-mobile-phones-seized-from-mla-hostel-in-srinagar/article30063453.ece

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