Majid Kapra

Family of arrested militant stages protest, demands info about him

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Srinagar: The family of Zahoor Ahmad Rather, who was arrested in connection with the killing of three BJP workers and a policeman in south Kashmir last year, staged a protest here on Monday, claiming he had nothing to do with militancy after he had surrendered in 2006.

Police had said Rather alias Sahil alias Khalid from Dooru Shahabad in Anantnag, was a top militant affiliated to The Resistance Front (TRF). He was arrested in Samba district of the Jammu region by Anantnag police on Saturday.

Rather’s family members staged a protest at Press Enclave here, claiming he was “innocent”. They said he was taken away from his rented accommodation, where he was staying with his wife and two children.

Rather’s sister Meena said they had approached the police in Anantnag for his whereabouts but to no avail.

She said Rather was into the dry fruit business and had nothing to do with militancy after he surrendered in 2006.

Rather’s sister said he is suffering from various ailments and appealed to the government to let the family know about his whereabouts.

Police said Rather, a resident of south Kashmir, had reportedly moved to Samba “to receive an arms consignment from Pakistan” and was arrested from his rented accommodation in Bari Brahmana area during a joint raid by Anantnag and Samba police.

Terming Rather’s arrest as a “major breakthrough”, the police had alleged that he was involved in the killing of three BJP workers in Kulgam and a policeman at Furra village in south Kashmir district last year.

His sister claimed that her brother was busy constructing house when three BJP workers were killed in Kulgam last year. Apprehensive about the wellbeing of her brother, she alleged that police has shifted him to some unknown location and is now denying information to the family.

“My brother being a former militant was detained by the police several times, he has now developed multiple ailments due to back to back interrogations. He is a diabetic besides having multiple heart ailments, he recently underwent major surgery in his eye,” she added.

She also said that her sister-in-law went to Samba police station to meet her husband, however she was informed that Zahoor was shifted to Anantnag police station.

“When we visited Anantnag police station, they denied his custody saying he has not been shifted from Samba yet. Now we appeal to the government to kindly let us know here my innocent brother has been held. We are worried about his safety,” added she.

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