June 2021 News

Was Trying To Make A Point, Says Kashmiri Man Arrested For Offending IAS Official

16 June 2021

Srinagar: A man from central Kashmir's Ganderbal arrested on charges of promoting enmity between groups for his comments during a public outreach programme last week has been released after spending five days in jail, police said.'I was just trying to make a point to the Lt Governor's advisor (Basheer Khan) as a fellow Kashmiri and we had met him three times before this for some developmental plans of the area,' said Sajad Rashid Sofi, a social activist, after his release.'I told Khan sahab that being a Kashmir I can only grab your collar as to why the work is not happening. I can't tell that to an officer from outside who comes and goes,' said Sofi, who has also contested elections to local bodies in the past. 'Khan responded in Urdu, saying 'what are you saying we are all Indians here' which gave the DC (deputy commissioner) a wrong impression that we were talking about her. It was not the case,' he said.Ganderbal deputy commissioner Krittika Jyotsna, an IAS officer from Uttar Pradesh, took offence to the remark at the programme. Krittika Jyotsna and her husband, Rahul Pandey, who is posted with the Raj Bhavan as the director of information, came to Jammu and Kashmir in February this year on inter-cadre deputation from Uttar Pradesh. Jyotsna could not be reached for her response.A police report said that Jyotsna stood up from her seat and 'strongly objected' to Sofi's comments at the June 10 outreach programme, according to PTI. Sofi was summoned and booked by the police under Section 153 of the penal code the same night for allegedly promoting enmity between different groups.Sofi was granted bail on Saturday but stayed in custody after the police invoked sections 107 and 151 under which a person can be placed under preventive detention on the directions of an executive magistrate if there is an apprehension of breach of peace.Many political leaders and parties had strongly criticised Sofi's arrest.