19 months on, Sabina awaits husband and justice

Showkat’s Family Pleads He’s Innocent, Decries Life Sentence

ZAHID MAQBOOL

Srinagar, Dec 4: “How can I stop my son (Azhar) from taking any extreme step? He is very disturbed after hearing about his father’s life imprisonment. I fear that he might take any extreme step someday,” says Sabina of Nishat here, whose husband Showkat Ahmed Khan was sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday in a 22-year old case.
 Sabina says that the local Mohalla committee used to finance her for fighting the legal battle of Showkat’s case—his alleged involvement in murder of a BSF inspector in 1990.
 Showkat was arrested by Shaheed Gunj police here in May 2011. “He was at his shop (automobile spare parts) in Karan Nagar when two policemen in civvies asked him to accompany them to Shaheed Gunj police station relating to purchase of some vehicle spare parts. But he was detained there for 11 days without being produced in court. Later the police told us that he was absconding for 21 years in connection with murder of an inspector in 1990,” Sabina told Greater Kashmir.
 Sabina says it came as shock to the family. “From 1990 to 1992 he was in a jail after he was picked up during a crackdown in Nishat. After his release, he was going to Delhi to join his brothers who were associated with carpet business. When he landed in Delhi, he was again arrested in a fake passport case and was sentenced to four years imprisonment in Tihar Jail,” she says.
 Showket’s family members say after his acquittal, he set-up a spare parts business in Karan Nagar after getting a loan from a bank. He married to Sabina in 1996. “We were living a happy life until his arrest. His detention shattered us all. As days passed by, his business started crumbling and the bank officials started serving us notices. We had no source to pay them the money back. They recently came to lock our house which we had mortgaged against the loan. I had to get the bank move stayed from a court.” Sabina says.
 Questioning the police version that he was absconding, Sabina says: “How can a bank give a loan to a person who would be absconding. His shop was only a few meters away from Shaheed Gunj police station. Why did the police not arrest him during all these years? I am sure that Government has a bigger motive in all these sentences.  We got a clean chit from different security agencies about his involvement in any militancy related incident.”
 Sabina cuddles his 14-year old son Azhar and her 10-year-old daughter Arshiqa Khan. “I am in deep anguish. Who will look after my son? What can I do with a few hundred rupees which I earn from doing tuitions?”

Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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