Govt Revokes Faizan’s PSA, Orders His Release4 April 2011
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir government Monday directed release of teenager, Faizan Rafiq, detained under Public Safety Act for alleged stone-pelting. Official sources told Greater Kashmir that the order regarding release of Faizan Rafiq was issued by the state’s home department, this evening. “The government has quashed the PSA and directed the jail authorities to release the boy forthwith”, they added. Confirming the issuance of release order, Muhammad Ayub, Superintendent District Jail Kathua, where Faizan has been lodged, told Greater Kashmir, “Yes, we have received the release order and only some legal formalities are to be completed before the boy can be set free”. He said that no one from the family came to receive the boy, which was a mandatory requirement for the release. “We are expecting the family to reach here tomorrow”, he said adding a respectable person of the area will have to accompany them so as to give and undertaking that “the boy will not resort to illegal activities in future.” Back at Faizan’s home, the news came as a sort of blessing for the family members. “We are still not able to believe that Faizan will finally back home”, Rafiq Hussain, father of the teenaged boy told Greater Kashmir over phone. He said that it was a long wait and a tough struggle for the family, which seems to be over. “It was a tough time for us and finally its over,” he added. He expressed gratitude to Amnesty International for highlighting the issue. “We are also grateful the chief minister Omar Abdullah who has taken personal efforts to ensure justice to the boy”. Faizan, whose school records said that he was just 14 plus, had become a source of debate between the government and the parents and political groups campaigning for the boy’s release. While it was being given out that the boy was a “minor”, the government insisted that he was not. The issue was taken up by various human rights groups. On Sunday morning Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who makes some of the significant announcements on micro blogging site Twitter, wrote; “I’ve issued orders (for his release) on Friday, papers are being processed so by Monday or Tuesday he’ll be out.” The government has acted upon the orders of the chief minister, who also is the home minister, and ordered the release.