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Kashmir: Father-daughter Duo Arrested for ‘Sheltering’ Fidayeens

Anees Zargar |
The arrest of the young woman from the village especially has shocked everyone in the family and the neighbourhood.
Kashmir Crisis

Pulwama: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Tariq Ahmad Shah and his daughter Insha Jan from their Pulwama home in South Kashmir on Tuesday for their alleged role in sheltering Fidayeens that carried out last year’s February attack on CRPF convoy killing 40 of them.

At his house in Hakripora village, relatives and neighbours of the father-daughter duo gathered to console the family. Family members of 50-year-old Tariq, who worked as a truck driver, said the family had “no links” with militants and especially the arrest of the young woman from the village has shocked everyone in the family and the neighbourhood.

Insha’s mother, Naseema, has not moved from the house porch since her husband and daughter were arrested; she is “heartbroken”, her relatives say, as they try to comfort her. “Insha is weak-hearted just like her father, I don’t know what will happen to my child,” Naseema says in a trembling voice.

“We have no history, no FIRs, and no militant links. My daughter and husband are not involved in any attack,” she says.

The NIA had accused Tariq of facilitating Fidayeen at his house for “sheltering and for planning” for the attack on the CRPF convoy in February 2019. “His house was also used by the above mentioned terrorists for preparing and recording of video of Fidayeen Adil Ahmad Dar, which was released by Jaish e Mohammad soon after the Pulwama attack,” NIA said.

The family members say, the NIA officials and several security personnel arrived early at about 7 am and asked for the two. “They also took flooring sheets, curtains, blankets and Insha’s pheran with them,” Insha’s elder sister told NewsClick.

Naseema said she did not even speak to her husband and daughter properly as they were being taken away. “Both Tariq and Insha were weeping inconsolably. They had no words, only tears and I am also left with only tears,” she said.

According to the official statement, Insha had facilitated the “terrorists at their home and provided food and other logistics during their stay on more than 15 occasions for 2-4 days each time.”

“In their house during the year 2018-19. Initial interrogation has revealed that Insha was in constant touch with Mohd Umar, Pakistani IED maker and was in communication with him over telephone and other social media applications,” the statement said.

The family members say, the officials had earlier arrived on Saturday to question them. “They came on Saturday evening and left at about 2 am. Then they came again on Sunday at about 3 pm. We were answering all their questions, but today, they just made arrests,” Naseema says.

The family had recently moved to this single-storey house, still under construction, and is shared by two other families, related to them. “This is a poor family and we are shocked to see how even young women are not being spared now for no fault of theirs,” another agitated relative said.

Naseema said that militants had visited their home over a year ago and they had told the officials about it already. “We are living in a village and everyone knows about the situation. We did not stop the NIA and police officers from entering our homes. How do they expect we stop any gun-wielding man to enter our home,” Naseema said.

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