Other States

Mehbooba’s close aide shifted from jail to home detention

Former Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Naeem Akhtar, a close aide of Mehbooba Mufti, was shifted from a Srinagar sub-jail to home detention in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Keeping in view the recent direction of the apex court and the present situation of COVID-19 and the health issues stated by the detainee, it has been ordered to shift him from the subsidiary jail, the MLA Hostel, to his residence in Srinagar’s Humhama,” said an order by the Executive Magistrate.

However, the magistrate directed the Station House Officer (SHO), Humhama, to ensure the detention of the detainee under Section 107/151 of the Cr.PC at his home.

Mr. Akhtar was arrested on December 21, 2020 ahead of the results of the District Development Councils and was lodged at the MLA Hostel in Srinagar. Earlier, he was arrested on August 5, 2019 and later released after 10 months in 2020.

A PDP spokesman said Ms. Mufti’s uncle, Sartaj Madani, who was also lodged in the MLA Hostel, had not been released and would have to face solitary confinement “despite the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

PDP General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said the continued illegal incarceration of political leaders despite the raging pandemic belittled the claims of restoration of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir trumpeted by the government.

“Five months ago Mr. Akhtar and Mr. Madani were arbitrarily picked up on frivolous grounds and put in jail without any rhyme and reason. Despite their old age and numerous underlying medical issues, they were kept in detention even during the raging pandemic. Even after his release from jail, Mr. Akhtar continues to be under house arrest,” Mr. Hanjura said.

He urged release of senior party leader and former party vice-president Mr. Madani.

“Isn’t it ironic that even after the NIA gave bail to party youth president Waheed ur Rehman Parra, its state counterpart continues to detain him under similar charges for which the NIA court has already given him the bail for. The authorities should immediately order his release and end his ordeal,” he added.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 6:51:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mehboobas-close-aide-shifted-from-jail-to-home-detention/article34530712.ece

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