SRINAGAR: The Legislative Assembly on Tuesday witnessed uproar over the arrest of a Kashmiri businessman by personnel of Delhi Police and Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) at the Delhi airport on January 10 in connection with the 2002 Red Fort attack case.
As the proceedings of the Assembly began this morning in Jammu, independent legislator, Er Sheikh Abdul Rasheed raised the issue of arrest of Kashmiri businessman Bilal Ahmad Kawa at Delhi airport by Delhi police and Gujarat ATS personnel.
He asked the government to inform the members why the businessman was arrested and what wrong has he committed.
The MLA said Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of J&K police has given a clean chit to the businessman.
“The government should clear whether Delhi Police had sent an official communiqué to the state police in last 17 years after the 2002 Red Fort attack case,” he said.
“If Kawa was truly wanted by Delhi police in 2000 attack case, the government must tell the House why Delhi police did not communicate to the state government or State police about it,” he said.
Kawa, who runs a business of animal hides, has been a frequent traveller to Delhi and also has a residence in the national capital.
Senior National Conference leader and MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar said the PDP-BJP coalition government should inform the Assembly about the action taken in Kawa’s case.
“An innocent state subject has been arrested and accused of an attack which had happened in 2000. There are five more instances when innocent Kashmiris had to spend 20 years in jails before getting absolved of the charges and released. Their lives and families were ruined," he said and urged the government to intervene in Kawa’s case.
Kawa lives in Aali Kadal area of downtown Srinagar and is a father of two minor daughters aged 10 and 6.
Kawa’s mother Fatima recently told reporters that her son was innocent.
“He was not on run. He was living with us all through these years. You can confirm this from any of our neighbours in our locality,” she has said.
She has alleged that her son was arrested on ‘frivolous’ charges and security agencies are trying to implicate him in a case in an 18-year-old case in which he was not involved.
J&K police have also confirmed that there was no case or FIR against Kawa in the Valley.
On December 22, 2000, three persons including two Army men were killed in militant attack on Red Fort.