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The state government has sent away two more young men from Tral to a jail in Jammu under Public Safety Act. Hilal Ahmad Dhobi, a shopkeeper, was picked up from home at night a few days back, while Arizoo Bashir Najar has been in custody for almost a year now.

A police source informed that Hilal was arrested during a nocturnal raid at his house on Sunday while as Arizoo is under police custody since last year. In October 2017 Arizoo was arrested in Tral in a joint operation by police and the security forces.

However, the family of Hilal alleges that police is framing him. The family alleged that police booked him under the act on flimsy grounds. “My son never advocates violence nor he has anything to do with militancy. He is innocent and he is being jailed innocently. Let administration prove any wrongdoing of my son,” Hilal’s father Ghulam Mohudin told Greater Kashmir.   

Hilal as per his friends was persistently detained just because his cousin and brother-in-law Sajad Ahmad Dar was a former Hizb commander. In 2011, Sajad Ahmad Dar, a district militant commander, was killed in the Dadsara village of Tral. Hilal after few years married Sajad’s sister Suraya.

Suraya accused police of detaining her husband on mere suspicion. “Since 2016 my husband has been kept under illegal detentions on many occasions in various police stations but was later released as he was always found innocent. But this time authorities have slapped him with PSA which is sheer injustice.”

The charges leveled against him are “concocted and totally baseless”, said a tearful Suraya, Hilal’s wife. “My four year old daughter Zainab is restless since her father was detained on Sunday. He was sleeping at around 12:30 am when police raided our house and detained my husband,” she lamented.

Tahir Ahmed Dhobi, the younger brother of Hilal, broke down while narrating the misery their family is going through after the detention of Hilal. This is the second repeated PSA against Hilal since 2008. In 2008, he was booked under the act and served three-month detention before he was released on bail.

The shopkeepers at Hamdania market staged a protest demonstration and observed complete shutdown to show solidarity with Hilal. “Our neighbour shopkeeper Hilal is innocent. He is polite and had left a private school to run a shop here but forces have time and again detained him without finding any fault in him,” said a shopkeeper.

Police however suspect Hilal to be an over ground worker who as per a senior police official carried out a grenade attack in June. Five CRPF troopers and five policemen were injured on 22nd June this year when militants lobbed grenade on a joint police and CRPF patrolling party in main market Tral.

When contacted senior superintendent of police Awantipora, Mohammad Zahid Malik talking to Greater Kashmir confirmed that the duo was booked under PSA. “Najar was a former militant who was under our custody and Hilal has links with militancy and was assisting Hizb outfit as an over ground worker,” SSP claimed.