Muslim Deeni Mahaz (MDM) on Monday accused the government of what it said, political vendetta, subjecting its incarcerated Amir (Chairman) Dr Muhammad Qasim Faktoo, who has completed over 22 years in jail.
In a statement, a MDM spokesperson said, "Some news channels and political parties have unleashed a propaganda against Dr Qasim and projecting him as a dreaded criminal while the fact is that he has been subjected to sheer political vendetta to prolong his detention."
"He was arrested on February 5, 1993 for his political views. But to prolong his detention, he was booked under TADA under section 302 r/w 120-B RPC. TADA Court Jammu acquitted him on July 14, 2001 and made following observation: That the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the case against the accused persons. Government challenged the said acquittal in Supreme Court of India, as it was the case of no evidence no proof, no witness turned against the accused. The case was thus solely based on "confessional statement" recorded under section 15 of TADA. Supreme Court sentenced the accused for life imprisonment with the direction that the accused shall be given benefit of the period already undergone (undertrial period) by him," the spokesperson said.
"On completion of 14 years, J&K High Court directed the Jail authorities to place Dr Muhammad Qasim's case before the Review Board for review of his case. Review Board while taking into consideration all aspects of the case had recommended premature release of Qasim in its meeting held on June 3, 2008. However, the state Government rejected the Review Board's recommendations not on the basis of interpretation of the life imprisonment that its mean imprisonment of a convict's whole natural life but on the basis of J&K Jail Manual Rule 54.1 which according to Government debars TADA lifer convicts from release on completion of two thirds (14 years) of 20 years," he said.
The spokesperson said, "More than 26 life convicts were released by the Government since 1975. Two TADA lifer convicts were released by the Delhi Government even before completion of 20 years of imprisonment. Lifer TADA convicts are entitled for remission. Ironically, the government left no stone unturned to prolong detention of Dr Qasim. It is a clear case of political vendetta," the spokesperson alleged.