In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the family of Arshad Yousuf, one of the three Kashmiri students to have got bail from the Allahabad High Court in a sedition case for celebrating Pakistan’s win against India in a cricket match, is now struggling to put forth financial backing to their promise to appear in future court hearings.
The 21-year-old, along with Inayat Altaf Sheikh and Showkat Ahmad Ganai, was arrested after they put a WhatsApp status, celebrating Pakistan’s victory over India in a T20 World Cup match on October 24, last year, in United Arab Emirates. They have been in Agra jail since October 27, 2021.
“My nephew will be home and there can’t be a bigger joy for us,” Muhammad Younus Paul said. He said the family is now struggling to find six persons with each having Rs 1 lakh in their bank accounts to furnish surety bonds to secure his release. “Until the final verdict of the case, the money will be withheld in the accounts of six people. It’s really difficult to find six persons who can come to my nephew’s rescue,” he said.
Under a surety bond, a witness agrees to pay the fine if the defendant doesn’t appear before the court or breaks bond conditions. “This is too harsh. Usually, court asks for one witness,” said Mir Urfi, a human rights lawyer based in Kashmir.
Arshad lost his father in a road accident when he was one-year-old. He is good at studies and gives hope to his mother and two siblings to bring them out of the cycle of abject poverty.—KMS