Kavita Suri

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Over 400 POTA cases (190 ultras including 8 Pakistanis) face uncertain future 

Last week when the People’s Democratic Party leader Surinder Singh alias Fauji who was detained under POTA by the National Conference government was released from the jail, the PDP firebrand vice-president Mehbooba Mufti who is a known champion of Human Right violations caused by the security forces only ( but maintains complete silence on HR violatiosn by terrorists) personally went to receive him at the police station throwing enough hints that their government was quite serious in releasing all of those detenuees who are in various prisons under Prevention of Terrorism Act. 

Jammu and Kashmir State, infact , was the first state of the country, which had decided to enforce the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) in the state much before the parliament gave a nod to the much-talked about ordinance making it an Act.  

The PDP-led government is against the Act being used in the state, but the Centre insists it is necessary. However, if Mufti Mohammed Sayeed has his way, apprehensions are being expressed about a upsurge in militancy in the state as about 190 terrorists and their harbourers including eight Pakistani ultras, who had been arrested by police under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in over 400 POTA cases registered across Jammu region, can go scot free. The PDP-Congress government has started releasing those put behind the bars under POTA. 

Over 400 POTA cases have been registered across Jammu region with Poonch district topping the list with 160-odd cases while Kathua district having a minimum of eight cases. In Jammu district, 32 POTA cases had been registered while in Ramban police district, 86 POTA cases were registered during last one year. The first POTA case was registered on 24 October 2001.An approximated 52 POTA cases were registered in Doda police district, 39 in Rajouri district, nine in Udhampur police district, seven in Reasi police district and five in Jammu border police district, according to the figures. 

At least 190 terrorists and their sympathizers are facing POTA charges in the region and, of them, eight are hardcore Pakistani terrorists. 

Four top Pakistani terrorists arrested from Jammu City during past six months are facing POTA charges. These are Mohd Abdullah alias Abu Talha of Gujranwala, Pakistan, who was involved in the killings of 28 civilians and three police personnel including a Sub Inspector and injuries to 35 others in Rajiv Nagar and Raika forests between 13 July to 2 August  

Zulfikar Ali alias Abu Jehad who was arrested by police from Ustaad Mohalla in the heart of Jammu city where he was conspiring to carry out a big strike on Civil Secretariat and Police Control Room (PCR) is another top Pakistani terrorist booked under POTA, was. Zulfikar, a hitman of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit , has close links with Dawood Ibrahim. From his possession, police had recovered a brand new Maruti Versa car worth Rs seven lakh besides cash and goods worth Rs 20 lakh besides a huge quantity of arms and ammunition.   Mohd Arshad alias Abu Akasa, another Pakistani, is a POTA accused who was arrested from Sunjwan on outskirts of Jammu city where he had purchased a plot after procuring a fake state subject. 

The first ever Al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Talha alias Abu Pillay of Pakistan, arrested from Poonch House in the City, was also facing POTA charges. An ‘operational commander’ of Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) Amrik Singh of RS Pura and his associate Gurdev Singh and Anil Kumar alias Chotu, from whose possession police had seized 39 revolvers from Jewel Chowk, were also POTA accused.

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