After 277 days in jail, Waqar is free at last!

Date: 13 July 2012
Dilnaz Boga, DNA

After 277 days in jail, Waqar is free at last!


“I am stronger now,” is the first thing Waqar Ahmad Moharkan said on the phone to DNA after being detained for 277 days under the draconian Public Safety Act in Kashmir. Waqar was released on Saturday, weeks after the Srinagar high court quashed his PSA detention order.
Waqar is a second year Bachelor’s in Commerce student at Srinagar’s Islamia College of Science and Commerce. He was arrested by the MR Gunj Station police on October 4, 2011, on charges of participating in protests in Srinagar.
“Waqar’s case is representative of the youth who are detained under the garb of PSA to suppress the genuine voice of the people of Kashmir,” stated a press release put out by Friends of Waqar, a group of individuals who joined hands last October when Waqar was picked up by the police.
In December 2011, Waqar was shifted to Jammu’s Kotbhawal Jail overnight. Kotbhawal Jail is 300km from Srinagar and the distance made it hard for his family to visit him. When a person is detained under a preventive law like PSA, he cannot be lodged more than 300km away from his residence according to the Supreme Court.
After DNA reported about Waqar’s illegal detention on March 14, Amnesty International and Red Cross got interested in his case and presented it to the office of the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Prominent lawyer and head of the Bar Council Association, Mian Qayoom, also intervened and took up Waqar’s case.
After unknown agencies tried to threaten a website with legal consequences to pull down Waqar’s online global petition for release, Mumbai-based activist Kamayani Bali Mahabal decided to float a petition herself. The petition, within a short span of a few weeks, received signatures from not only Kashmir but Europe, Palestine and Syria too.
For now, happy to be out of jail, Waqar plans to continue his studies and appear for a pending exam and go on with his life, he said.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: India- Why #Independence is #blackday15august – Killing Kashmir « kracktivist

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