Kishtwar Observes Shutdown Against “random” Arrests12 September 2011
Srinagar: Residents of Kishtwar district in the Jammu division on Monday observed a shutdown against “random” arrests and “harassment” in connection with the Delhi High Court blast case. The police are probing an e-mail claiming responsibility for the last week's blast. The e-mail, sent in the name of Harkat-Ul-Jihadi Islami (HuJI), had been traced to the Global Cyber Café in Kishtwar. So far, official sources said, the police had questioned 60 people and eight were still in custody. A team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) also visited Kishtwar but nothing is known about its progress. The sources told The Hindu that the owner of the café, his brother and the manager had already been questioned and were likely to be booked as they were using a “personal Internet” connection for commercial purposes. Two brothers were released on Monday, and another youth was arrested. Even as the questioning was on, the police detained Sharik Khawar Butt (16) and Abid Hussain Bhawani (15), which provoked the people. They lodged a strong protest and sat in a dharna demanding a fair probe. A group of senior citizens met Deputy Commissioner M.H. Malik and urged him to intervene and put an end to police “harassment.” Imam of Jamia Masjid, Kishtwar, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, who had called for the strike, condemned the Delhi blast. He said Islam did not permit the killing of innocent people. However, he said the delay in the investigation was the cause of worry. The Imam said they wanted the culprits to be punished but they opposed harassment in the name of investigation. Director-General of Police Khuldip Khoda said they were fully co-operating with the NIA.