Rights activist, Gautam Navlakha’s detention criticised

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By: Shujaat Bukhari
Srinagar: The detention of human rights activist Gautam Navlakha at the Srinagar International airport on Saturday has been criticised even as the Jammu and Kashmir government says his entry will pose a “danger” to peace and tranquillity.
Mr. Navlakha, who has been visiting Kashmir regularly to highlight alleged human rights abuses, was to have attended a book release function on that day. He was served with an order by the Budgam district Magistrate stating that his entry had been banned under Section 144.
Since there was no flight back to Delhi in the evening he spent the night at the Humhama police station. He was sent back on Sunday.
Angana Chatterji, U.S-based convener of the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir (IPTK), criticised the detention of Mr. Navlakha, a member of IPTK, and said such acts targeted and obstructed the work of the Tribunal.
Senior lawyer Zaffar Shah said the government’s action was unlawful and unjustified.
District Magistrate (Budgam) Mohammad Rafi defended the decision saying such an action could be taken under Section 144. “It is not only about assembly of four or more people,” he told.

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