December 2004 News

Mufti kin had strong links with militants, say police

29 December 2004
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar: The police have arrested a close relative of the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, following a warrant issued by the District Magistrate of Anantnag under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for unlawful and anti-national activities. A case has been registered and the person has been sent to the Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu for a period of two years. Sarwar Mufti (23), son of Shariefuddin Mufti, was arrested by the Bijbehara police from his house on Monday evening after the District Magistrate issued the warrant and sent it to the police for execution. The District Superintendent of Police, Anantnag Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari, told The Hindu that it was established prima facie that Mr. Sarwar, who is an employee of Kashmir University, had strong links with militants and had been indulging in unlawful activities. 'On the basis of a preliminary investigation conducted by the police, the District Magistrate issued a warrant under the PSA and sent it us for the execution,' Mr. Bukhari said, adding that a case had been registered under FIR no. 371 of 2004 at the Bijbehara police station. Investigations begin Mr. Sarwar has been booked under Sections 13 (unlawful activities) and 212 which deals with harbouring militants and their supporters. Mr. Bukhari said formal investigations into the case had begun and would be challenged in the court of law on its completion. Till then, Mr. Sarwar has been sent to Kot Bhalwal jail in accordance with the warrant under the PSA. However, he can move the court and challenge the warrant. The story of Mr. Sarwar, a nephew of Mr. Sayeed, started on September 22 this year when a party of the Border Security Force arrested him from his home. However, the police had objected to this and had secured his release . Links with militants But the police, according to the Anantnag Superintendent of Police, had followed his movements and had found out about his links with militants. The police said he had provided shelter to a top ranking militant, Fayaz Talaq, of the Hizbul Mujahideen. He had also aided militants in their movements. Mr. Sarwar's arrest is likely to open a new political debate in Kashmir. However, sources close to Mr. Sayeed said he had not intervened in the matter and had asked the police to act according to the law . Neither Mr. Sayeed, nor his daughter and PDP president, Mehbooba Mufti, were available for comments.


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