Srinagar: Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir in a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah has called for the release of a teenage youth Arslan Feroz, who was recently arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Srinagar for alleged militants links.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president wrote a letter dated January 3, 2022, addressing the Home Minister regarding the arrest of the 19-year old student from Srinagar.
Arslan, according to his family, was first detained by J&K police on October 21 and after forty days, he was released since nothing was found against him, Mehbooba wrote in the letter.
“In your last trip to Kashmir you spoke emphatically about engaging with the youth here. Despite our political differences, I am sure we can agree that such incidents will only alienate our young generation further and leave them with permanent scars and a sense of despondency for a long time,” Mehbooba’s letter read.
The youth, a resident of Zaldagar area of Srinagar, was arrested by the NIA earlier last week during a raid carried out by the agency in the old city area of Srinagar. The NIA accused Arslan of being involved in a case of radicalising, motivating, and recruiting youth of the region into militancy.
In a statement, the NIA termed Arslan as an “operative” of the The Resistance Front (TRF) and accused him of being involved in a “conspiracy” and working for the militant outfit’s Pakistan-based so called head Sajjad Gul and others. The NIA said they have so far arrested four persons during the case, which also involves carrying out “reconnaissance of pre determined targets, co-ordinating and transporting weapons” to support the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and its affiliate TRF.
All these charges against Arslan, however, have been vehemently opposed by his family, who also held a protest against the NIA in Srinagar’s Press Enclave on Sunday.
Demanding the release of their son, the family appealed to the Jammu and Kashmir Police for justice and release Arslan. “He is a student of Class 12 and we brought him to the police ourselves. He was arrested earlier as well by the police but they released him after they found him innocent,” a family member of Arslan said.
Arsalan’s father, who suffers from heart ailments, denied his son’s involvement in militancy and appealed that his son be released during the protest, following which Mehbooba called for the intervention of Shah.
“I request you to personally intervene in this case and ensure that justice is served,” Mehbooba said.
The former J&K CM added in the letter that she met with the crestfallen family including Arslan’s father, who has suffered a stroke because of the situation in which his son is caught.
“It’s an utter tragedy that a young boy has been arrested despite no previous adverse police records. Such actions can have catastrophic consequences for him and his family,” Mehbooba’s letter read.