Three youth from Pulwama slapped with PSA

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Public Safety Act (PSA)

PULWAMA — Three youth namely Asif Ali, Mushtaq Lone and Ayesh Dar from Niloora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district were slapped with PSA and shifted to a Jammu jail.

When contacted, the families of the detained youth pleaded innocence and said that they were detained in Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for six months. Soon they got the bail, and they were shifted to local hospital where they were slapped with PSA and shifted to Jammu jail.

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When SSP Pulwama was questioned about their involvement as their parents claim innocence, he harshly said, “Who are you to question, we have briefed their parents.” Moreover, he added that PSA was slapped by DC Pulwama.

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The parents of the detained youth in one voice termed it as injustice and denied any involvement of them in any subversive activity.

In Kashmir — where conflict and civil strife have ravaged the State for several decades, and reports of arbitrary arrests and human rights abuses often highlight the plight of locals in the State — the controversial PSA has not been only used as a path to brutalise people, especially the young, but also seen as a dangerous precedent to the same youth taking up arms and joining militancy.

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The controversial PSA, which came into force in 1978, was introduced to fight crimes like timber-smuggling. With time, its scope broadened and now, many experts took it as a tool for the Indian government to detain people on suspicion of being a threat to national security. They could end up behind bars for up to two years, even without a trial for being a threat to public order.

An Amnesty International report states that some 20,000 arrests have been made under the Act since 1978.

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