Talib Hussain, a prominent Gujjar Bakarwal activist, has been granted bail by the Samba Sessions Court. Hussain was arrested allegedly for raping a woman in Chadwa forest.
“We are happy that Talib has been granted bail but this is the first step. Our priority was that he should be granted bail. But, as we have been saying, the entire case is concocted. There are differing narratives and stories, and we are working to prove that in the court of law. Bail is the first step to victory,” said Hussain's lawyer Advocate Anwar Chowdhary.
Hussain's friend and state secretary of Gujjar Bakarwal Youth Conference, Mohammad Sadiq told Newsclick, “ He had to go through a lot but I will say that Talib's life is still under threat. Right now, he is in jail and we have urged the authorities to provide him with security. As we know he was the one spearheading the Kathua rape case and they (the political forces involved) would try to harm him.”
Also read: Kathua Rape Witness Threatened to be Killed in Custody
Earlier, Talib was threatened that he would be "brutally" killed in custody before he reaches court for the next hearing. Following the threat, he was provided with security and was shifted to a different locker in the same jail. “We are still receiving threats to the effect that even if he has got bail they will put different charges on him and get him implicated. They want him behind the bars and can do anything for that, even kill him in custody. Thus, we have requested the authorities to extend the security provided to him,” said Advocate Anwar.
Previously, Hussain's estranged wife had filed a case of dowry and domestic violence against him, but he was not arrested then. Hussain was arrested in connection with the investigation in FIR 185 under section 307, 382, 363, 323, 354A and 498A of the RPC (Ranbir Penal Code, the main criminal code applicable in the state of Jammu and Kashmir). After the FIR 185 was stayed by the Srinagar wing of the state High Court, Samba police registered another FIR 211 on the same date and time and the police arrested Hussain following charges under section 376 RPC and 4/25 of the Arms Act on the direction of the SHO (Station House Officer) Samba.
Also read: Is Talib Hussain Targeted for Being a Witness in the Kathua Murder Trial?
Talib Hussain came into the limelight after he led a campaign to demand justice in the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Rasana village in Kathua district. He is the prime witness in the case and has been demanding justice for the family. He was arrested on July 31, from Tral, Kashmir, following an allegation of rape against him and was brought to the police station in Samba.
“The threat to his life looms large. He was a prime witness of the Kathua rape case and has been demanding justice, while they (the political forces) are trying to suppress the case. Talib's presence can threaten them,” another lawyer Mobeen Farooqui had told Newsclick earlier.