Kashmir separatist leader in 5-day police custody

Kashmir separatist leader in 5-day police custody

Masrat, deputy of hardline All Party Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, played a key role in making the strikes and protests successful during the last four months of civilian unrest in Kashmir. Police had launched a massive hunt to nab him and had carried out a series of raids in Srinagar.

Amid tight security, Masrat was produced in the court of forest magistrate Srinagar Masrat Shaheen on Tuesday afternoon. Masrat told his lawyers that he was kept in the camp of special operations group (SOG), a wing of the police  fighting militancy, and that he was not beaten up by cops.

Masrat’s lawyer Nazir Ahmad Ronga requested the court to lodge his client in a police station, where he can be questioned, since the detained leader is not involved in any militancy-related case. He also requested the court to allow Masrat’s family to meet him.

However, the police prayed  for his custody saying the separatist leader is involved in 13 criminal cases and those cases are registered against him in different police stations. The court sent the separatist leader to five days remand and directed police not to lodge him in an SOG camp.

Masrat got a lot of prominence in the media during the last four months because of his hard line views and tough opposition to moderate leaders. He would issue statements and protest calendars when Geelani was in jail.

Meanwhile, Geelani has strongly condemned his deputy’s arrest. “He is not a militant leader. He is only carrying forward the struggle peacefully. The government projected him like a militant and he had to evade arrest. On one side, the government claims to release leaders but on the other, they are arresting them,” he said in a statement.

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