Detained Kashmiri boy released

April 5th, 2011 - 1:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, April 5 (IANS) Faizan Rafiq, a Kashmiri boy whose detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA) in Jammu and Kashmir had triggered a storm in political and human rights circles, has been set free from Kathua jail.

Police said the boy was handed over to his father Rafiq Hakeem, who had travelled through the night from Anantnag in south Kashmir to Kathua, 85 km from Jammu.

His release was ordered by the state government Monday evening following the intervention of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who was flooded with tweets by the supporters and others questioning the arrest of a “minor” under the PSA

The PSA entitles the government to keep a person in detention without trial for two years.

Amnesty International, in its latest report on Kashmir, had described the PSA as a “lawless law” and charged the state government with going in for indiscriminate arrests under it.

Faizan’s father told IANS that he was delighted to have his son back. “I think justice has been done to me, and I am thankful to Omar Sahib for his gesture.”

Faizan was arrested on charges of stone throwing from Anantang in February this year.

Faizan, whose school records said he was just 14-plus, but apparently has the appearance of a man in his 20s, had become a source of debate between the government and the parents and political groups supporting the boy. He was held some time ago.

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, Abdullah, who makes some of the significant announcements on micro blogging site Twitter, wrote: “I’ve issued the orders on Friday, papers are being processed so by Monday or Tuesday he’ll be out.”

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