Noted human rights defender Khurram Parvez was taken for specialised treatment immediately after his arrival in Jammu Central Jail at Kotbalwal Thursday morning. He was detained Wednesday under Public Safety Act (PSA) by District Magistrate Srinagar and was shifted to Jammu around midnight.
Khurram survived an IED blast on April 20, 2004, at Chandigam, Kupwara where he had gone to monitor Parliamentary elections. His colleague Aasiya Jeelani and their driver succumbed to the blast. Khurram had to undergo amputation of his leg. The medical experts attending him have advised regular checkups to avoid complications.
Khurram, the coordinator of Jammu & Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and chairperson of Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) was arrested from his residence last Friday after he was debarred from boarding a plane to Geneva where he had to attend the UNHRC meet. He was also scheduled to attend a few workshops especially on involuntary disappearances.
A spokesman of JKCCS while giving details of the legal battle for Khurram's release said: "The police station Ram Munshi Bagh booked him under sections 107/151 CRPC and affected his arrest. He was lodged in police station/sub-jail Kothibagh. The police managed a remand for 10 days from Tehsildar South who allowed the police application without seeking Khurram's presence. The remand order was challenged in the court of Principal Sessions Judge Srinagar by a team of lawyers comprising the Bar secretary, Bashir Sidiqui, former secretary Muhammad Ashraf, Advocate Musaib and Hafizullah. The remand order was set aside and the superintendent sub-jail Kupwara where Khurram was lodged was directed to set him free. Khurram was, however, rearrested outside the jail and taken to police station Kupwara. Later a team of police officers from Ram Munshi Bagh brought him to Kothibagh Police Station."
The re-arrest evoked massive condemnation from across the globe. Around 100 intellectuals including Noam Chomusky, Arundati Roy and others sought his immediate release. "Meanwhile, the relatives came to know that the authorities were preparing to book him under PSA. Last evening the warrant under PSA was served on him," the spokesman said adding he has been accused of instigation hatred among communities and causing breach of peace and public order.
The spokesman said that the authorities did not handover the grounds of detention to Khurram or his relatives. "This has hampered our legal response to the detention," he said.
Khurram, a post graduate in Mass Communication and Journalism is among the founders of JKCCS – an amalgam of 11 organisations. The spokesman believes his activities have been giving sleepless nights to the authorities. "His role in highlighting the Handwara molestation case early this year won him ire of the authorities. He was presently working on reportage of fake encounters in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
Pertinent to mention, the authorities have taken in custody hundreds of persons in connection with `operation calm down' launched last week to "crush the on-going uprising". The arrestees include lawyers, teachers, political activists and school going children. It has been reliably learnt that the authorities shall go for more arrests in the coming days.