Court extends Waheed Para’s CIK remand

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A Jammu and Kashmir court has extended the remand of Waheed Para to Jammu and Kashmir’s Criminal Investigation Kashmir (CIK) by five more days from 30 January on Friday.

After Para was granted bail by the National Investigation Agency court on 9 January, he was taken away by the CIK in a “case related to an alleged nexus involving politicians, terrorists and secessionist forces,” reported Press Trust of India, quoting an unnamed official.

Para, who is president of the youth wing of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was initially arrested by the NIA merely days after he filed his nomination for the District Development Council elections. Para, imprisoned by the NIA during elections, had won his seat from Pulwama.

Para was arrested by the NIA on 25 November last year following a disclosure statement by Hizbul Mujahideen militant Naveed Baba, who was arrested along with then J-K Police Deputy SP Davinder Singh on 11 January. However, the court observed that offences, particularly those under the Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA), “are not prima facie made out against the applicant/accused”.

Highlighting loopholes in the NIA’s case, including non-mention of any reference of Para in its original or the supplementary chargesheet, the judge questioned the basis of his arrest on the “so-called disclosure statement” of the militant.

The court noted that its “legal value” was “seriously hit by Section 25 of the Evidence Act”, which says that such confessional statement can only be recorded under Section 164 CrPC by a magistrate. Not one protected witness named Para, the judge said.

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