Journalism student detained under PSA, sent to Kot Balwal jail

Aadil Farooq Bhat son of Farooq Ahmad Bhat of Bhat Mohalla, Khrew, in police district Awantipora, was arrested last month when he went to police station Pampore for questioning.

A 24-year-old third-semester student of journalism at the Central University of Kashmir has been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and shifted to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu for allegedly working as overground worker of militants, a charge refuted by his family.

Aadil Farooq Bhat son of Farooq Ahmad Bhat of Bhat Mohalla, Khrew, in police district Awantipora, was arrested last month when he went to police station Pampore for questioning.

Public relations officer Central University of Kashmir Arshad Meraj confirmed that Aadil Farooq is a student at the department of Convergent Journalism.

Farooq’s PSA dossier, signed on 1 February 2019, reads:

“You met with various militants in whose influence you developed a militant ideology. As a result, you established a link with the Hurriyat leader Bilal Gani Lone under whose instructions you remained pro-active in instigating the same ideology amongst the people and youth of the area. You have also liaison with one militant namely Mohammad Ayoub Lone alias pilot of banned militant organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and his other militant associates for whom you are working as over ground worker as being a local you know topography of the area which leads to safe transportation of illegal arms and ammunition through unconventional routes and away from the security forces.”

The dossier accuses Aadil and his associates of hatching a “criminal conspiracy” to undertake militant activity in the area of Khrew.

“Besides, you were providing them all possible help including food, shelter, logistics and transportation from one place to another regarding which case vide FIR number 20/2017 under sections 18,19,20,39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act stands registered in police station Pampore.”

“You could not mend your ways and instead chose to continue the subversive activities. Remaining your (sic) at large would pose threat to the security of the state particularly at the time when the atmosphere is already surcharged,” it reads.

The dossier adds: “The activities as projected in the dossier run heavily against you and are highly prejudicial to the security of the state. Being highly motivated to carry on the illegal designs you are not likely to desist from anti-national and anti-social activities. You are directly involved in the above-mentioned cases and the normal laws are not sufficient to deter you from anti-national activities.”

“Therefore, in order to prevent you from indulging in these activities, which are prejudicial to the security of the state, it is necessary to detain you by invoking the provisions of J&K Public Safety Act, 1978,” reads the dossier.

However, the student’s father Farooq Ahmad Bhat told Greater Kashmir: “The charges leveled against my son are concocted and totally baseless.”  

He said Aadil was detained on January 12, 2019.

“After my son received summons and threats from the army I took him to police station Pampore where he remained under police custody for several days before he was taken to Jammu jail,” said his father.

“I request deputy commissioner Pulwama and SSP Awantipora to revoke his PSA or shift him to central jail Srinagar where he can continue his studies for his last semester because his career would be ruined,” he said.

The family including the brother of Aadil, his mother and younger sister broke down while talking to this reporter.

“Aadil is our only support because my elder son is mentally unsound. We worked hard to send him to the university,” Aadil’s mother Rafeeqa said.

Repeated attempts to contact the SSP Awantipora didn’t fructify.