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Dukhtaran-e-Milat chief to file petition for her husband

Aasiya Andrabi is filing a petition as her husband's health is deteriorating in detention, reports Faisul Yaseen.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 16:03 IST

Dukhtaran-e-Milat (daughters of community) chairperson Aasiya Andrabiwill file a curative petition in the Supreme Court after November 13 against the lifer awarded to her husband Ashiq Hussian Faktoo, accused of killing a prominent trade union leader HN Wanchoo in the early 90s.

"Yes, I am filing a curative petition for my husband," she told Hindustan Times over phone from Srinagar. "We took this decision after our review petition was rejected in the Supreme Court," she said.

A member of the Society for the Protection of Detainees and Prisoners Rights (SPDPR), Syed Abdul Rehman Geelani had approached Andrabi in Srinagar and urged her to file the curative petition.

"Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy and human rights activists Nandita Haksar are also backing me for filing the curative petition. I will probably file the petition after November 13," Andrabi said.

Earlier, Andrabi had told a Srinagar-based newspaper about her filing the curative petition. In 2003, a division bench of the Supreme Court in its first hearing in the Wanchoo murder case awarded life sentence to Faktoo after hearing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) agency.

"We've decided to file the curative petition because of his deteriorating health in detention. He has orthopedic problems and his health is deteriorating," Andrabi said about her husband Faktoo, who is lodged at Central Jail Srinagar for the past four years.

Faktoo alias Mohammad Qasim was arrested along with Andrabi on February 5, 1993 at Srinagar Airport where from Police sent Andrabi to Jammu and Qasim was held at Srinagar.

Andrabi accused the Central Bureau of Investigation of coercing Faktoo
into signing a confessional statement. "The confessional statement was
written in Hindi. On the basis of that statement CBI filed the case accusing him of being a conspirator in the killing of trade union leader.

"As he cannot read Hindi, he didn't know what was in the statement," she said adding that the trial in the Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (TADA) Court went on for around seven years.

"Finally when nothing was proved against him, he was acquitted in March 1999," Andrabi said.

However, Delhi Police rearrested Faktoo in January 2000 while on his return from London at Indira Gandhi International Airport on charges of money laundering. Three days before his arrest, Delhi Police claimed busting a Hawala racket.

Police had said Faktoo was in Delhi to collect the Hawala money for the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists. "He was arrested while returning after attending a Muslim Conference in London and the joke of the year was that CBI in its charge sheet has registered that he was arrested on way to Delhi from Srinagar," Andrabi said.

She also denied the charges of Police claiming that they had recovered a sack of RDX from his ancestral house.

Faktoo was released on bail in May 2000 but in 2002 CBI challenged his
acquittal in the Supreme Court and he was asked to present himself before the TADA Court Jammu where he was arrested again.

Andrabi alleges that Faktoo was detained to budge before the Indian authorities for softening his stand on Kashmir. "He did not cooperate and hence is bearing the brunt," she said.

Faktoo was booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) in 2002 for writing the book 'Maslay Kashmir Ki Shariye Hasiyat' (Kashmir dispute's religious dimension).

First Published: Nov 09, 2006 16:03 IST