Srinagar: Amid rain and chill, three families from central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Tuesday staged a protest in Srinagar, seeking the release of their kin who were arrested by Delhi Police on Monday.
The family members of the arrested men emerged in Press Enclave Srinagar, alleging that Delhi Police, like in past, have enacted a drama and implicated their loved ones in a fabricated case.
Earlier on Monday, Special Cell of Delhi Police claimed to have arrested five persons — three from Kashmir and two from Punjab — after an ‘encounter’ in East Delhi’s Shakarpur area.
The three Kashmiris were identified as Riyaz Ahmad Rather, Shabir Ahmad Gojri and Muhammad Ayub Pathan.
While Riyaz and Shabir hail from Nasrullah Pora village of Budgam, Ayub belongs to Gondhipora village of the same district.
The two from Punjab were identified as Gurjeet Singh and Sukhdeep Singh.
Officials said it is suspected that some of them might have links to militant groups.
However, their family members, mostly women, during the protest told reporters that they are innocent and have nothing to do with militancy.
“It is a blatant lie on part of Delhi Police that these men have links with militant outfits. Back in Kashmir, all these men have a clean police record and have never been detained in the past,” they said.
“Can’t people of Kashmir visit Delhi? Is it a crime to visit Delhi for any work? My father runs a band saw and has nothing to do with militancy. He was in Delhi to purchase some material,” said the son of one of the arrested man, Muhammad Ayub Pathan.
Pathan is the father of 3 daughters and 2 sons.
Shaista, wife of Shabir Ahmed Gojri, said her husband was on a visit to the famous shrine of Ajmer Sharif as has been his routine for the past many years, and Riyaz (another arrested, who hails from the same village) had accompanied him this year.
“My husband had to pay obeisance at Ajmer Sharif while Riyaz being a welding worker had to get some stuff from Delhi,” she said, adding that on Sunday late evening, her husband informed that he was alright.
“My husband is a tipper driver with a clean police record. We were shocked over the claim made by Delhi Police,” she told KNT, adding that Shabir is the sole bread-winner of the family comprising old parents and two young sisters.
The family members of all the three arrested, while seeking the intervention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Director General of Police Dilbag Singh, appealed Delhi Police to release them.
“We have seen in past how Kashmiri men were implicated in false cases and after spending years together in jails, acquitted by the court of law,” they said. (KNT)