For four minor kids of Tehreek I- Hurriyat district Anantnag president Mir Hafizullah, 50, the festive occasion of Eid is just another day. Their father has been briefly out of jail only twice in the past one decade.
Hafizullah, who hails from Akingam village of Achabal, was last arrested by police in November 2016 during a pro-freedom rally in Hakoora village. He was accused of being instrumental in organizing pro-freedom rallies and instigating violence in southern Kashmir, and booked in dozens of cases.
He was subsequently booked under PSA and shifted to Kotbalwal jail in Jammu. His PSA was quashed by the court in October last year and later shifted to Srinagar Central Jail. However, police slapped another PSA against him and shifted him to Amphala jail in Jammu.
The home department later revoked his two consecutive PSAs, citing ‘unsatisfied grounds’ as the reason. However, despite that Mir continues to be under detention even as his four minor kids are longing for his return.
Imprisoned for more than 14 years since early eighties for his association with Jamiat-u-Tulba, Jamat-I-Islami and later Tehreek I Hurriyat, Hafizullah has remained out of jail only for a brief period since the 2008 mass uprising. His eldest child is in 7th standard and youngest in nursery.
Every Eid their mother and aged grandmother tells them that their father will turn up and bring toys and new clothing for them. This Eid is going to be no different.
Mir’s family accuses the government of political vendetta. “Since 2008 my son has spent Eid only on two occasions with us. His kids often inquire about their father and we have no answers for their questions,” said Syeda Begum, Mir’s aged and ailing mother.
Begum said that this Eid too they gave them false hopes that their father would turn up and bring toys and new clothes for them. “My son was released only a day after Eid in 2016 and he did participate in pro-freedom rallies but they were all peaceful. The government is persecuting him just because he is committed to his cause and does not compromise on his ideology,” said Begum, adding that he is also suffering from various ailments including diabetes and is on medication.
“Even after his arrest government forces raided our house and ransacked goods and took away our valuables,” Begum alleged. She said his youngest daughter was born when he was in jail. “If professing pro-freedom ideology is a crime, then yes he is a criminal,” she said.