In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the High Court has ruled that the public at large offering funeral prayers for a martyred youth cannot be construed as anti-India activity to the extent that they are deprived of their personal liberty.
The court made the remarks while upholding the grant of bail to two men booked under the draconian law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), noting that personal liberty is the most precious right guaranteed under the constitution.
The order also comes in a scenario where the IIOJK authorities have stopped handing over the bodies of the youth martyred by Indian troops to their families and has been burying them in remote locations. In 2020, over 150 youth were buried in such locations, mostly in northern Kashmir, a report by Siddiqa Ahmed noted.
A report from 2020 by Umer Maqbool for The Wire had quoted villagers of Gantamulla who said they had “silently buried” more than 100 youth in a graveyard.
Indian occupation forces were doing this as they believed that the funerals of the slain youth in populated areas of IIOJK could trigger massive anti-India demonstrations.
The court was hearing the plea filed by the authorities against the bail of Mohammed Yusuf Ganai and Javaid Ahmed Shah, the Imam of local mosque, who arranged funeral prayers in absentia for martyred youth Mudasir Jamal Wagay in Kulgam in November, last year. The police had booked them under UAPA, however, the special judge of Islamabad district granted bail to them in February this year.—KMS