Majid Kapra

Apni Party pledges legal help to youth detained under UAPA, PSA

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‘Aim is to help poor families who can’t afford lawyers to plead cases of their kin’

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) led by former minister Mohammad Altaf Bukhari Tuesday announced to arrange legal help for the youth who were arrested and booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA) in Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing a press conference at party headquarters here, Apni Party general secretary Rafi Ahmad Mir said the party has also decided to extend legal help to the political prisoners and others who were detained days ahead of the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A on August 05, 2019.

He said the party has formed two provincial-level committees to take up cases of the “lesser-privileged” people languishing in prisons in the Union territory and outside.

One of the committees will cater to Kashmir province while the other will take up cases in Jammu, it said.

Mohammad Ashraf Mir, the party’s Kashmir province chief, and Jammu chief Manjit Singh will head the two committees, respectively. The party’s legal team will assist them, he said.

“Many people are languishing in jails not only in Jammu and Kashmir, but also in other states. Some of them are political prisoners who do not subscribe to our ideology while some are youth. According to some, there are innocent people as well,” Mir said.

“The families of many of such prisoners do not have resources or the manpower to knock at the doors of the administration or the courts. So, our party has formed two committees – one each for the two regions of the Union territory,” he said.

Mir asked family members of the prisoners to get in touch with the committees and share details.

“If need be, we will try to meet the prisoners in jails even outside Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Mir said there were many forums where the grievances could be addressed, such as the Lieutenant Governor administration; the committee headed by the Union Home Secretary, a forum for detainees under the Public Safety Act, 1978, besides courts, he said.

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