Ahed Tamimi released in Palestine, Kashmir Family Awaits Release of their Teenage Abnormal Son

July 30

Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenage girl who became an international symbol of resistance after slapping two Israeli soldiers, walked out of an Israeli prison on Sunday and thousands of people including online activists, family and Friends welcomed the “activist” hailing her courage, here in Kashmir, the family of Umer Yousuf Khan, 17 years old awaits his release from detention.

Umer was arrested on 12 September last year for his alleged role in stone throwing and was kept under dtention for more than a month after which he was released for a day. “For less than 24 hours he was released and then the Police again arrested him and subsequently booked him under Public safety Act,” the mother of Umer told The Kashmiriyat.

The UN report, titled ‘Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Developments in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan’, revealed that over 1,000 Kashmiris were held under the PSA between March 2016 and August 2017.

Legal Experts belived that Public Safety Act (PSA), which is the most commonly used form of administrative detention, institutionalises the state of emergency. Its modus operandi, creates a complete, self-enclosed and socialised carceral system – a system of no exit. They also say that the law is used loosely against political activists, members of political groups, young people and dissidents against whom there would be insufficient evidence for a trial judge to keep them locked up.

Umer who hails from Malaknag area of Islamabad (Anantnag) township in South Kashmir is 17 years old and has neuronal disorders. Doctors as per the family say “He is suffering from a Mental disorder.” He was interestinlgy booked a fews days after Mehbooba Mufti announced Amnesty to the stone throwers in Kashmir valley. “My Son Umer cannot even speak properly, such is his condition, the Police did not spare him even after we presented the Doctor prescriptions and DOB Certificates to them,” says Saleema Banoo, the mother of Umer Yusuf Khan.

She says that all her sons, four were arrested by the Police on the charges of stone throwing and whenever any incident of stone throwing happens in the township, her sons are summoned to the Police station. “Why would they not pick up Guns? They are wanting them to, they are forcing them to,” She says. Saleema’s husband Mohammed Yusuf Khan was also arrested in early 90s for being a Militant sympathizer. “Nobody among the Male members in our family is free of anti India Charges, Yusuf passed away in 2013, he too was troubled a lot,” she recalls.

The family lives in a mud house with barely three rooms, the elder Son Zameer Ahmed is an auto driver, booked in more than 3 cases of stone throwing followed by Akbar Khan booked in more than four cases of stone throwing and the younger brother is also booked under charges of stone throwing. “All of my younger brothers had to quit studying after they were constatntly summoned to the Police stations,” says Zameer.

Umer is one of the many civilians arrested by the police since July 08, 2016 following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. To quell protests, the government has now adopted even tougher measures, arresting thousands of people, with many being booked under the draconian PSA.

“They have moved him to Jammu, I can’t even go there to see if he is doing alright. I went to see him at the police station before he was taken to Kotbalwal. I asked him if he was fine, he said yes, but he looked scared,” Saleema Banoo told The Kashmiriyat.

In the Civilian Uprising of 2016, Zameer was kept in detention for 49 days, Akbar for 47 days, the thrid brother for 35 days and Umer for more than a month for their alleged role in Stone throwing. “They told my mother, they will release me, if she brings my younger brother Akbar and once he was here, they asked her to bring the one younger than Akbar and than the the last one was also kept in Jail for more than a month,” Zameer says.

The PSA Dossier of Umer signed by the Deputy commissioner of Anantnag mentions the age of Umer as 22, however the official birth certificate of Umer reveals that he is only 17 years old. The Dossier further reads

“He is deeply involved in organizing/ mobilizing the mobs to attack the state machinery and the symbols of the state. This act of yours has led to Lawlessness and has instiagted people to resort to the violent means. Your actions depicts that you are making the youth as connon fodder for your ulterior motives in provoking them against the state machonery and the symbols of the state.”
“The PSA Dossier is a laughing stock,” Zameer says adding that,”My brother is partially insane, everyone knows that, he is barely able to talk, whom will he use as Fodder?” Zameer Feels that the Police has profiled people and now to make its job easier, it picks up profiled people without investigating any facts.

The poor family says that they have been assured help, however nobody has shown any concern to help them out. The Doctor seeing Umer from the past many years said that Umer is not a normal child, “I have been seeing him for the past many years, but i do not know, why does the Police trouble him time and again?” he asked.

The release of Palestinian activist, Ahed certainly may be a big news for the world, but the families of many Aheds in Kashmir are awaiting their release.