Families of 2 Kashmir youth held in UP refute police claims

Families of 2 Kashmir youth held in UP refute police claims

The UP police claimed that their anti-terrorism squad busted a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) module “involved in recruiting members for the militant group by arresting two suspects from Jammu and Kashmir”.

The families of the two south Kashmir youth, who were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police on Friday in Deoband for alleged links with militants, said the duo was innocent and had gone to UP to pursue religious education.

The UP police claimed that their anti-terrorism squad busted a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) module “involved in recruiting members for the militant group by arresting two suspects from Jammu and Kashmir”.

The police said the duo—Shahnawaz Ahmad Teli, 25, of Nonmai village of Yaripora area of Kulgam and Auqib Ahmad Malik, 22, of Chandigam village of Pulwama district— were “posing as students”.

The police also claimed to have recovered “two weapons and live cartridges” from them, while describing Teli “a grenade expert”.

However, the families contested the police charges, saying they were there pursuing education in a religious seminary.

“He (Showkat) went to pursue religious education in early 2017 after completing BA. He is innocent and has no militant connections at all. There is not a single case registered against him in local police stations,” Waqar Ahmad, brother of Shahnawaz, toldGreater Kashmir.

He said the family went into shock after they learnt about his arrest from the neighbours.

“I am heading towards Kulgam to meet police officials,” said Ahmad, a teacher in a private school.

Showkat is the youngest of five children.

His other brother is pursuing post graduation in economics. His father is a carpenter and was at work in Srinagar when the news about his son’s detention came in.

Back home, his two sisters and mother were sobbing and pleading everyone to bring Shahnawaz home.

“All we know is that he (Shahnawaz) was a very pious and gentle boy. He was studying in local madarsas before he went out to fulfill his desire of becoming a religious scholar. He has no militant links whatsoever. The entire village is in a state of shock,” says Ghulam Rasool, an elderly villager.

He appealed to the government to inquire into the matter immediately and set him free.

The family of Pulwama youth, Auqib Malik, also refuted the UP police charges.

“He (Auqib) is a Hafiz-i-Quran (one who has memorised the entire Quran) and had gone to Deoband only two months back to pursue religious education. He had applied for Samaat course in Darul-ul-Uloom Deoband which is an informal mode of education wherein there is a provision for open classes but you are not enrolled. He has nothing to do with militancy and is being framed by UP police.  We expect the local police to come to our rescue,” said his elder brother Rayees Ahmad.

He said only yesterday he talked to him on phone inquiring about his well being as they were worried about his safety following recent attacks on Kashmiris outside.

“Auquib sounded relaxed and told me that there was no such fear here as the police were giving them protection and that he will return home soon,” said Ahmad. 

Auqib has his four brothers and three sisters. He is the second youngest. His father Muhamad Akbar Malik is an orchardist.