Yawar HussainJammu, Jan 16
The Legislative Assembly on Tuesday witnessed uproar against the arrest of Kashmiri businessman Bilal Ahmad Kawa by Delhi Police in Red Fort attack case.
As soon as the question hour started, Independent legislator from Langate, Engineer Abdul Rasheed, asked the government to clarify its position on the issue of Kawa’s arrest and demanded that the government should state “what wrong has he committed?’’
Thronging into the well of the house, Rasheed asked the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) government to make a clarification as Kawa has been given clean chit by the Jammu and Kashmir police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID). “The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state has granted a clean chit to Kawa yet Delhi police have arrested him,” Rasheed said, adding that “it seems the Central government would go to any level to persecute the common Kashmiris.”
He said in the backdrop of continuous oppression of Kashmiri people through use of security apparatus the state government has once again shown that the blood of the Kashmiri people “is very cheap for them.”
He asked the government to reveal in the house whether the Delhi police have sent any official communiqué to the state government in past 17 years when the attack on Red Fort took place. Lamenting the “silence” of the government, Rasheed said that they will wake up only if “Bilal is hanged like Afzal Guru”.
Rasheed was joined in the protest by senior National Conference (NC) leader and MLA Khanyar Ali Mohammad Sagar who said that the government should inform the House about the action taken in Kawa’s case. “If any Indian citizen is detained in any part of the world then the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj comes to their rescue and in the same way we are here to help Kawa,” Sagar said.
He added that from his own local sources he had got to know that Kawa had no connection with any militant group and his family is in utter distress since he was arrested. Sagar said that the government should also tell the house if it was afraid of New Delhi because the detention of Kawa “has come in the backdrop of a clean chit given to him by the state police.”
On Monday, the family of Bilal Ahmad Kawa staged a protest in Srinagar to seek the intervention of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for “immediate” release of their son. Thanking the Police for their help, they said that Mufti should also push for Kawa’s release. “My son is my sole hope. Since the day of his arrest, I am completely shaken. I request Mehbooba ji to facilitate my son’s release,” appealed Fatima, mother of Kawa.
Police have already cleared that there have been no charges against Kawa ever. “There is no case against him here. We have talked to Delhi police in this regard. They are saying that there was warrant number 50012 against him,” said Additional Director General of Police, Kashmir, Muneer Ahmad Khan, adding that they their CID cell is coordinating with Delhi Police in this regard.
Kawa was arrested by Delhi police and Gujarat anti-terrorism squad on charges of his alleged involvement in Red Fort attack in 2000 on January 12 from Delhi’s IGI airport.