Rights activist Khurram Parvez detained even after court orders release
Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez continues to be lodged in a police station in the city even after a Srinagar court ordered his release.
Parvez, 39, who is the chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and the programme coordinator of JKCCS, was put under preventive detention last week.
On Tuesday evening, principal district and sessions judge, Srinagar, Rashid Ali Dar, ordered Parvez’s release from a sub-jail in Kupwara and said the earlier order for his detention was not “in accordance with the law”.
Parvez’s family and lawyers have claimed that even after being released from the sub-jail following the court order, he was detained for over three hours in Kupwara police station.
From there, he was shifted to Kothi Bagh police station in Srinagar in the wee hours of Wednesday, without informing his family and lawyers the reason behind his continued detention.
On Wednesday noon, at the time of filing this report, Parvez continued to be under detention at the Srinagar prison. A JKCCS official said they fear the police might come up with a fresh allegation against him.
IGP Kashmir and SSP Srinagar did not answer their phones, while SHO Kothi Bagh police station said he was not at the station and thus unaware of any news pertaining to Parvez.
Parvez was arrested on Thursday night and lodged at a prison in Srinagar. About 24 hours later, he was shifted to a sub-jail in Kupwara. The police said it was a “preventive detention” over an “apprehension of breach of peace”.
According to a media report, police wrote to an executive magistrate, accusing Parvez of instigating people outside a mosque. But Parvez’s family termed the allegations “a complete lie”. The JKCCS also questioned the legal basis of his transfer to Kupwara jail.
On Monday, the JKCCS said Parvez, who is disabled, was being “helped to a great extent by other inmates” as the jail isn’t disabled-friendly.
Parvez had lost a leg in a bomb blast in 2004 while on election monitoring duty in north Kashmir.
Parvez apparently told his family and lawyers that “his specific request about his special needs due to his disability was ignored”.
Meanwhile, support for the Srinagar-based activist’s release gained steam after international support grew and a social media campaign pushed for it.
A group of 52 prominent scholars, activists, academics and writers — including Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Partha Chatterjee, Harsh Mander and Basharat Peer — wrote an open letter on Sunday, demanding his immediate release.
“The actions against Mr. Parvez are symptomatic of the escalated repression in Kashmir by institutions of state since July 8,” the letter said.