Kashmir-based journalist arrested; Family says ‘picked up for no crime of his’

Srinagar: After being arrested in a nocturnal raid at his Batamaloo residence on Monday. Aasif Sultan, Kashmir-based journalist, who is the Assistant Editor of the monthly magazine Kashmir Narrator has been languishing in police custody since a week now, his father said.

However, the cops have said that Aasif has been formally arrested and the case is being dealt by the Superintendent of Police (South).

While returning from Police Station Batmaloo, Mohammad Sultan, Aasif’s father informed FPK that his son, a “diligent journalist” was picked up by the forces at around 2 in the intervening night of August 26-27. He reckons that he is in trouble for a story that was published in the magazine.

“The story was about Burhan Wani,” Sultan said. “Now, they picked him up for no crime of his.”

It is for the first time that Aasif has landed in trouble for fulfilling his professional duties, he said.

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Sultan added that the police today had asked him to sign the documents of Aasif’s formal arrest which he has denied to do.

“I am coming from the police station. I told them I will not sign any papers. First, they pick him up and now they are saying they will formally arrest him,” he said.

A top police official from Batmaloo informed FPK that Aasif has been locked up in the police station Batamaloo and that his case will be handled by the court.

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“There is a proper process behind it,” the officer said. “He was picked up for questioning and we needed to formally arrest him. Now the case will go to the court. SP [South] is handling it.”

Meanwhile, Showkat A. Motta, the editor of the Kashmir Narrator told FPK that his staffer has been kept in illegal detention by the police.

“From the last six days we have been regularly visiting the police station and told that he will be released soon. But it seems that police is hellbent to frame him,” the editor said. “A few days back when I met the Batamaloo SHO regarding the arrest, he told me that Aasif keeps uploading provocative Facebook posts, which creates a menacing situation in the area.”

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