Arrest of 2 JK residents in Mirpur triggers protest

TARIQ NAQASH

Muzaffarabad, Jan 12: Authorities in Mirpur on Saturday lodged two visitors from Jammu and Kashmir in judicial lockup for want of a valid visa, triggering strong protest by the activists of nationalist organisations.
 The judicial remand of Sardar Devinder Singh Behal, Chairman Jammu Kashmir Social Peace Forum (JKSPF), his associate Vijay Abrol and their local host Sardar Arif Shahid, President Jammu Kashmir National Liberation Conference (JKNLC), was given by an executive magistrate in Mirpur for violating Foreign Act and Azad Penal Code (APC).
 Behal and his colleague had arrived in Pakistan through Wagah border early this month and authorities said they possessed visa for Lahore and Rawalpindi/Islamabad in Pakistan and Muzaffarabad and Kotli in PaK.
 Authorities claimed that they had wrongly told the police at the Mangla entry point that they would be travelling to Kotli via Mirpur, but violated their visa conditions by staying in Mirpur throughout the day (Friday) and attending a reception under the aegis of JKNLC and some other nationalist groups.
 During the reception, several speakers had taken strong exception to exchange of fire along the Line of Control (LoC) and asked India and Pakistan to stop “proxy war” in Kashmir.
 However, on their way back to Rawalpindi on Friday night, Behal, Abrol were arrested and booked under section 14 of Foreign Act 1946 for “illegal movement within the jurisdiction of Mirpur without valid visa.”
 Shahid was booked under section 109 of APC for “abetment in the unlawful act.”
 Interestingly, when Greater Kashmir contacted Mirpur’s deputy commissioner Chaudhry Guftar Hussain for official version, he claimed ignorance saying he was in his native village in district Kotli on leave.
 When Greater Kashmir called additional deputy commissioner-general (ADC-G) Mirpur Chaudhry Tariq, he also claimed that he was on leave and that the case was being dealt by the DC.
 When told that the DC had made a similar claim, the ADC-G hung up the phone.
 In Muzaffarabad, activists of nationalist organizations staged a demonstration against the arrest of visitors.
 Marching through the main thoroughfare amid heavy downpour, the demonstrators said if people from India and Pakistan could sit together, why the divided Kashmiris were being prevented from meeting with each other.
 They warned that if the visitors were not released within 24 hours there might arise a serious law and order situation in PaK.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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