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IIOJK in focus

Nobody speaks up for us, Kashmiri detainees tell journalist Zubair

New Delhi, August 06 (KMS): Noted Indian journalist and Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair who was released on bail after almost a month has said that the Kashmiri youth who were lodged in New Delhi’s notorious Tihar Jail told him that nobody speaks up for the Kashmiri Muslims.

Mohammed Zubair in an interview with news portal Article14 said “there were youngsters from Kashmir, four or five kids [meaning, young men] in my cell in Tihar, first-year or second-year students who had been in jail for more than two years just for sharing a post on Telegram and Facebook. And the first thing they told me was they were happy at the outrage over my arrest but there was nobody speaking up for Kashmiri Muslims, not even me.”

He said they told him there were around 33 of them in Tihar Jail, and around 150 in Agra and many of the other UP jails. They were all arrested after the abrogation of Article 370, all students, he said.

“That was heartbreaking. Comparing it to my case, I still feel I am lucky. I know I was jailed because of politics, because of outrage by the right-wing, but I still feel after going inside that there are a lot of other people, 1000s of activists, reporters, and others who’ve been in jail for no fault of theirs,” Zubair said. I’m glad I am outside, but there are many other people who, unfortunately, are still inside the jail, he added.

Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police on 27 June for one of his social media posts. On July 20, a Supreme Court bench comprising justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and AS Bopanna ordered disbanding of the SIT and transfer of all the cases to Delhi, saying there was “no reason or justification for the deprivation of his (Zubair’s) liberty to persist any further.”

The SC bench also refused to restrain Zubair from tweeting in the future as sought by the government in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

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