May 2017 News

'Stone Pelter' Zubair Picks Up Gun

15 May 2017
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: Zubair Ahmad Turray, who had gone missing last week, after escaping from police custody, surfaced today in a video donning military uniform and brandishing a kalashnikov assault rifle. With the disappearance of Zubair also known as Chota Geelani on May 1, when police said he escaped from their custody, protests have been growing demanding his whereabouts. For last four days normal life in the town came to grinding halt following rumours that he may have been killed. Zubair had been mostly behind bars since 2014 on charges of stone pelting. Police slapped draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) on him seven times even after courts had set him free ensuring he stayed behind bars, residents said. 23 year old Zubair has been arrested several times and the first time being when he was only 11 years old. On Sunday Zubair released a video clip of five minutes announcing his joining of militancy. In army fatigue, Zubair describes the reasons behind his decision of joining militancy. 'I was slapped with the Public Safety Act several times. The courts had quashed all of them, but I was never released. I was illegally detained since 2016, he said. 'Every effort of my father to get me released was failed.I appeal my father, Bashir Ahmad Turray not to worry for me,' Zubair said. Thanking people of Shopian, his home town, for their support Zubair 'promises to take the Freedom struggle forward'. He even reminds people of Aasiya and Neelofar, who were found dead in May 2009 and whose death had triggered a mass agitation. Zubair was last arrested in 2014 on stone pelting charges and was slapped with PSA. Zubair according to police sources escaped from police station Keegam on May 1. Following surfacing of the clip which put the speculations about his custodial death to rest, markets opened in Shopian town and normal life resumed. Hurriyat (G) 'Since last several years police chased, haunted and humiliated Zubair. During this period, more than eight PSA's were slapped on him even though court quashed his cases and bailed him out, police instead of honoring court orders, continuously shifted him from one jail to another. Let Mehbooba come with explanation as what was the option left for said youth, other than to join brave hearts. '

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