700 lockdown violators were held, kept together for hours
The J&K administration has started decongesting jails and lock-ups only after rounding up around 700 “violators” of the lockdown and huddling them in police stations and exposing them to the dangers of contracting COVID-19.
In a major step to decongest the prisons, the J&K administration revoked the Public Safety Act, a law dealing with preventive detention, on 31 prisoners. “Eleven of those to be released are lodged in Kotbalwal jail, 14 in Srinagar jail, four in a Rajouri jail and two in Kathua,” an official said.
However, at least 700 civilians, who were designated as violators by the police and booked for their movement on the roads, were detained for hours together in police stations and many were detained for several days.
Police sources said Block Development Council chairman Muhammad Yasin Sheikh from Handwara’s Dolipora was arrested and detained for at least three days for “his movement in Dolipora and arguing with the policemen”. He wad lodged at the Vilgam police station, Handwara, and booked under Section 353 and 506.
The Vilgam police detained 15 “violators” on March 24 and huddled them into the police station. A total of 35 civilians were arrested in the whole of Handwara area that day.
Valley’s Bandipora, Handwara and Ganderbal districts top in detention of “violators” and lodging them in lock-ups and police stations. In the past two days, over 50 “violators” have been detained in these districts.
After a video went viral of a father-son entering into an argument with the police and later exchanging blows on March 27, the duo, identified as Azad Wani and Suhail Ahmed Wani, were booked under Sections 269 and 353 (non-bailable offence with two years to five jail) of the Indian Penal Code and arrested by the Delina police station.
A police officer said the father-son duo was released on Monday.
Meanwhile, in a fresh drive on Monday, a police spokesman said 44 civilians were booked in Handwara and Sopore “for violating the prohibitory orders”.
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