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Accused in cleric murder files RTI

india Updated: Apr 18, 2011 23:35 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

Two days after police accused him of being part of a conspiracy that led to the assassination of prominent religious Moulvi Showkat Ahmad Shah, jailed militant Ashiq Hussain Faktoo filed an application under the Right To Information (RTI) Act asking for the list of people who visited him last year.

On Saturday, police said Abdul Gani Dar, president of the radical group Sout-ul-Haq, had met Faktoo last year to discuss the plan to assassinate Shah. The cleric, who headed the religious group Jamiat-e-ahle Hadith, was killed in a blast on April 15.

Ashiq Hussain Faktoo, the husband of Asiya Andrabi, who heads the women's separatist group Dukhtaran-e-Millat, has been serving life sentence at the Srinagar central jail since 2003.

"He (Faktoo) has never met any person named Abdul Ghani Dar in jail in 2010," said Muhammad bin Qasim, Faktoo's elder son, after meeting him on Monday along with some other relatives. "My father has filed an RTI application to know the names of persons he met in 2010."

Faktoo was jailed for the 1992 murder of human rights activist Hriday Nath Wanchoo, a charge he denies. He completed his doctoral degree in Islamic studies while serving in jail.

"He knew he was going to be released soon because of his good behaviour," sister-in-law Irfana Jan said. "He was all set to be released on April 18, as the final hearing was due. How can a scholar, about to be released, get another scholar killed?"

Relatives said he has also written to the Jamiat to clear his position. The Jamiat on Monday constituted a 10-member panel to probe the assassination.

Kashmir inspector general of police SM Sahai and central jail superintendent Ganesh Sharma refused to comment on the issue when HT contacted them.