Jammu Muslim leader booked under PSA, jailed

Srinagar—A Jammu-based Muslim leader has been has been booked under the draconian Public Safety Act and jailed at Kot Bhalwal prison last month.
Syed Shabir Ahmad Shah, president Muslim Development Forum, who lives in Mohalla Jeevan Shah, has been accused of being a ‘habitual criminal, mischievous cheater and a desperate character’ and a ‘threat to peace’.
The PSA dossier says that a number of cases in the state as well as outside are registered against him and his activities are “prejudicial to the law”.
“He has created terror among locals and disturbs the tempo of life of the community resulting which general public is feeling insecure (sic),” it said adding, “he has created terror among peace loving people of the area”.
Also, it said, Shabir “claims to be president of Muslim Forum and uses the Forum for his vested interests that is land grabbing and cheating general people”.
The PSA order issued on 25 May 2016 by Jammu district magistrate Simranjeet Singh says that a total of 15 cases and complaints stand registered against Shabir.
His family, however, said courts have dismissed all the cases. Four days after passing the PSA order, Simranjeet invited Shabir for discussing Ramadhan preparations in the region.
Jammu’s central Jamia Masjid Imam Mufti Mohammad Inayatullah Qasmi vouched for Shabir’s innocence, saying he has been working for welfare of people.
“Many people were against road widening in Jamia Masjid area but he ensured to get the bottlenecks such as hotels removed, which irked many,” he said.
“That’s why he is called as criminal otherwise he did not commit any murder. He always worked for benefit of people,” Qasmi told Kashmir Reader.
Forum member Showkat Ali of Khatikan Talab corroborated Qasim, saying Shabir’s efforts to get some structures removed in the area for widening of road did not go well with “some quarters”.
He said their attempt to seek appointment with chief minister Mehbooba Mufti did not yield any outcome. “Later, Shabir’s family brought the issue into the notice of PDP leader Sartaj Madni last month,” he added.
Shabir’s brother Syed Abdul Majid Shah said Madni told them they should approach the court and get the Act quashed there.
He said police and land grabbers have ganged up against Shabir after he pursued cases against them in Khatikan Talab and Gujjar Nagar areas.
“The past cases which have been shown in the dossier are settled in the court,” he said over phone, adding “our pleas for meeting Mehbooba Mufti did not materialize”.
To prove Shabir’s credentials, Shah said his brother held Chahrum prayers for late chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in Jammu and attended India’s republic day ceremony every year.
Simranjeet told Kashmir Reader the police twice sent him PSA dossiers against Shabir.
“The first time I rejected the dossier prepared by the police. They again sent the dossier with such charges as inciting communal tensions. I passed the order on the basis of what police had recommended in the dossier,” he said.
Inspector general of police Jammu Danish Rana was not available for his comment. Jammu senior superintendent of police Sunil Gupta told Kashmir Reader that he will check the details of the case. However, when KR called him later, he did not respond to the calls.
The PSA, which Amnesty International called as ‘lawless law’, was introduced in Jammu and Kashmir during 1978 and after amendments, it allows a person to be detained for up to one year without trial.—KR

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