Pulwama: A mother of a youth, detained since May 19, accused Police of harassing her elder son to take up arms.
“Just like my younger son was harassed years ago and eventually forced to join militant ranks, Police is now harassing my elder son too and pushing him to the wall,” Kulsum, the mother of Zaheer Ahmad Lone of Inder village says.
Accusing Police of having harassed her younger son, Nisar Ahmad, who was put behind bars for three long years, she said, “He was forced to pick up the gun and killed in a gunfight in Bellov village of Pulwama in 2003.”
“I do not want to lose my second son too, and appeal authorities to have mercy at me and release Zahoor,” Kulsum said.
Police believes Zahoor, father of two school-going kids and the main bread earner of the family, of having developed links with militants after his brother was killed and blamed him for working as an Over Ground Worker (OGW) for some slain militants.
Police also accuses him of distributing militant posters and instigating youth.
However, the family members refute the allegations as baseless.
“Police is framing our son in these cases,” Zahoor’s mother and his father Abdul Gani Lone said.
The poor family of Zahoor from Inder village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district has been shattered by frequent detention of their only son under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
“This is the second time in last two years that my son has been detained under the PSA,” Lone said.
“Last year he was detained at Kathua Jail for 8 months before the court quashed his detention order under the PSA.”
Lone, who has a fractured arm, is suffering from varicose veins of lower legs, a condition in which veins become enlarged, overfilled with blood causing swelling in legs which become painful and may lead to ulceration.
Lone, who worked as an orderly in the Jammu Kashmir Cooperative Society, was disengaged and reinstated only recently on the directions of the court after 17 years.
As long as Zahoor was a free man, the Lone family lived a decent life.
Zaheer set up a shop in Lassipora village and was earning sufficient amount to manage his house but after his frequent detentions the family is living a miserable life.
Lone’s monthly wages are the only source of income for the family, who own no land except their courtyard on which they grow vegetables.
“The wages fall short to meet daily requirements of my family,” the broken father said, who is struggling to pay electricity bill of his son’s shop as well as his single-story modest house.
“The electricity bills are mounting with each passing month,” the family members said.
Zaheer’s wife, Rozy Jan said since her husband was arrested she had been unable to pay school fees of her daughter, who studies in 10th standard and son, who is is a 4th standard student.
“The frequent detention of their father has affected them mentally as well,” she said.
“My daughter is showing signs of psychiatric illness as she confines herself to a room and doesn’t talk as she used to do.”
She said her kids insist on meeting their father, a desire she could fulfill only after taking a loan from her uncle.
“They again insist to see their father but I can’t arrange that as I have no money to take them to Kathua,” she said. (RK)