Daughter fights lonely battle to seek father’s release

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By: Umer Maqbool
Srinagar, Nov 21: Mubeena, 26, is fighting a lonely battle for the past nine years to get her father released. Her father, Ghulam Qadir Bhat, 60, hailing from Dooru Islamabad (Anantnag) was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Court on the charges of hatching a conspiracy to eliminate high profile personalities.
Mubeena’s struggle started from the day, when her father was picked up by forces in the dead of the night on August 2, 2002. “We were sleeping. Suddenly, forces barged into our house and took him away. We pleaded with them that our father is innocent, but they did not listen,” Mubeena told Greater Kashmir.
She said that her father was later taken to Hariniwas interrogation centre and detained for seven days there. “Our legislator, who happened to be then a minister in the state cabinet, accompanied us to Srinagar. But, the police did not allow us to meet him and assured us that he (father) will be released after brief questioning,” Mubeena added.
“We were shocked when 15 days later we received a letter from father stating that he has been lodged in Tihar jail. We rushed there and hired a lawyer to plead our case,” she added.
Mubeena said during eight years of trial, her family utilized all their resources to get their father released. “Our only source of income is a patch of orchards. We used to sell it in the advance for 2 to 3 years at meager amount to pay the fees of lawyers. In lower court, the lawyer charged us Rs 3 lakhs, but we had to replace him as he couldn’t plead the case. We spent nearly Rs 6 lakhs during the case. Nobody offered us any help. We went to separatist leaders for help, but they did nothing,” she added.
Last year, her father was sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court.
But, Mubeena did not lose heart and filed an appeal against the lower court verdict in High Court.
“We challenged the verdict in High Court through advocate Kamini Jaiswal. We are hopeful that court will deliver justice to us as our father is innocent,” she added.

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