March 2002 News

Hurriyat office raided in Delhi; Yaseen remanded

26 March 2002
The Hindustan Times

Jammu/Udhampur/Srinagar/New Delhi: Mohammad Yaseen Malik was on Tuesday produced before an Udhampur court that remanded him in seven days'' police custody. In Srinagar, bands of people protesting the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief''s arrest fought with police in the streets daylong, braving cane charges and teargas shots. One group of protesters was led by Javed Mir, JKLF vice-president. In New Delhi in the evening, a team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, accompanied by city counterparts, raided a Hurriyat office and came away with a pile of papers. Malik was brought to Udhampur from Srinagar in the early hours of Tuesday. After in-camera proceedings, chief judicial magistrate M.K. Hanzura ordered his remand in police custody till April 2. During the remand, Malik''s health will be monitored through check-ups every 48 hours. The principal of the Government Medical College could be asked to appoint a panel of doctors to carry out the tests, the judge suggested. Malik was whisked away within seconds of emerging from the courtroom under heavy police escort. Some three hours later, he was produced at Jammu''s Government Medical College for a health check. In Jammu, Malik kept up the defiance he had shown immediately after the police swoop on the Hurriyat''s Srinagar headquarters on Monday. The case against him was a ''politically motivated conspiracy,'' he said, and challenged J&K DGP A.K. Suri to come with him to Nepal and prove that Altaf Qadri had visited the country even once in the past seven years. ''If it is proved that Qadri visited Nepal in these years, I will not only resign from my post in the JKLF but will also give up the movement,” Malik said. Smiling, he told reporters that his arrest was ‘the beginning of a drama that will continue for some time’. Healthwise, Malik said he was ‘feeling feverish’. The JKLF leader had been arrested in Srinagar on Monday on charges of bringing into the country hawala money worth $100,000. Two alleged accomplices, Mushtaq Ahmad Dar and Shazia — a woman whose name was on Tuesday revealed to be really Shamima — had been picked up with the money in Kud on Sunday. Dar said he was taking the money from PoK-based Hurriyat leader Altaf Qadri in Kathmandu to Malik in Srinagar. On Monday, Malik had said he was not in touch with Dar for a long time, and had never met Shazia (Shamima) — a claim that he repeated on Tuesday. In New Delhi, a team of policemen from the city and Jammu and Kashmir swooped on the offices of the Kashmir Awareness Bureau, a Hurriyat hub located in Alaknanda''s Shivalik Apartments. The raid took place around 5.30 p.m. and lasted a while, but police were not willing to say what they got besides ‘documents’.


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