Campaign for release of 21-year-old Kashmiri student

Waqar Ahmad Moharkan

Starting a worldwide campaign, a website has been launched in support of release of twenty-one-year-old, Waqar Ahmad Moharkan who was arrested in Srinagar and later shifted to the Kotbalwal Jail- 300 km from Srinagar, Kashmir. He has been in prison for more than five months now.

People have started an online campaign, from wherever they are in the world, through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in solidarity with Waqar. The website ‘Free Waqar Campaign (official)’ has his personal and case details. It includes an online petition to be signed by the visitors-supporters.

Waqar is a student of Islamia College of Science and Commerce, Srinagar. As per the website he was arrested on October 4, 2011, from his house in Lal Bazaar on charges of participating in protests in the downtown areas of Srinagar. “Waqar was arrested by police personnel from MR Gunj station. The court allowed his bail application on 23 October, 2011. Instead of being released, he was rebooked by same police station and shifted to Central Jail under judicial remand on 15 December, 2011 and suddenly slapped with the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA),” the website informs.

Refuting the charges on which PSA was slapped on Waqar, the website has given the charges too, “You have frequently come in the adverse notice of the police for your involvement in anti-social activities aimed at disturbing the public tranquillity and peace in the city. You are instrumental in mobilising the anti-social elements for creating havoc in so far as causing serious law and order problem is concerned which inevitably besides endangering human life also causes impediments in the smooth economic development of the state. Your said acts are aimed at keeping the state on boil and thereby bringing about secession of J&K from Union of India. It has also emerged that your such nefarious designs are being carried out in a well thought out manner to bring the whole Downtown area to a standstill.”

Waqar has missed his examination papers too. His father had filed an application in the court for allowing him to appear for his annual examinations, held by the University of Kashmir. But despite the court’s permission, the police didn’t allow him to appear.

The campaigners appeal to “civil society all over the world and campaigners of human rights, justice and liberty, to help spread the word about Waqar’s wrongful, illegal and oppressive treatment at the hands of the Indian state.”

Click here to go to the website.

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