Budgam youth, wife booked for crossing LoC
One Year On Couple Continues To Languish In Jail
Srinagar, May 26: A young man from Branwar in central Kashmir’s Budgam district and his wife, who attempted to cross over from Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) to this side in May 2010 from Sabziyan Sector in Poonch, continue to languish in jail.
Muhammad Ashraf Jara, 23, and his wife Asima, were detained by army and lodged in jail on charges of “illegal cross over.”
Family members of Jara told Greater Kashmir “he is not a militant,” and his ordeal revolves around his desire to see his mother, father and others.
“From the past one year he is lodged in jail,” Jara’s father, Ghulam Muhammad said.
A visibly broken man said that his son crossed over to another side of Kashmir when he was 9- year old. “It was in October 1996, I asked my son to fetch maize from the field. From there onwards, he disappeared,” Ghulam Muhammad said.
“Hardly a month after his disappearance, Muhammad Ashraf Jara, shot us a letter from Muzaffarabad saying he was safe there,” he said. “We were stunned when we found it. Thereafter the exchange of letters continued”
Ghulam Muhammad along with his wife Halima who belong to Gujjar community and live in dense forest area of Branwar said, finally in the month of May in 2010; an army unit arrived at home and informed them their son was arrested.
“We later learned he got married in 2009 with Asima. He was detained along with his wife by army after he crossed over the LoC in Sabziyan Wala sector in Poonch,” Ghulam Muhammad said.
He said army handed over the duo to police, who later lodged them in jail.
“Asima has been kept in Poonch Jail. While Ashraf was shifted to Kot Balwal jail,” he said. “We met them three times there.”
Both Halima and Ghulam Muhammad are old and from extremely poor economic background.
“We have paid Rs 5000 to a lawyer for their release,” he said.
Ghulam Muhammad urged government to pay a heed to their pleas and release Ashraf and his wife.
Lawyer Muhammad Amin Batti who is fighting the case said Ashraf was a minor when he crossed over. “He should be given a chance to live a happy life,” Batti said.
He said that Ashraf has been charged for kidnapping a girl and illegal cross over.
He was asked to show documents that he was married, but he has no proof. “But the girl says she is married to Ashraf,” Batti added.
Sources said since the police have booked him on kidnapping charge, there is every likelihood the girl Asima would be deported back to Pakistan.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 27 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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