Do not shift Shabir, and 3 others to outside valley jails: J

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Srinagar, Sep 9 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the administration not to shift four senior separatist leaders, detained under Public Safety Act (PSA), outside the valley.

Staying the order of the Home department, a single bench of the High Court, comprising Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain, said the detenue -- Shabir Ahmad Shah, Asiya Andrabi, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai and Mehraj-ud-din Kalwal -- should not be shifted to any jail outside the Kashmir valley.

Justice Hussain gave a week's time to authorities for filing objections against the petition challenging shifting of detenues .

It also issued two-week notice to the authorities asking them to file objection to a petition challenging the detention under PSA.

Mr Shah, an eyewitness to the killing of senior Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz during Muzaffarabad chalo in north Kashmir, was arrested on August 30 from Rawalpora area.

He was later detained under PSA. One of the charge against him was that he played an important role in reunification of the Hurriyat Conference.

The Dukhtaran-e-Milat chief Asiya Andrabi was arrested and subsequently booked under PSA on August 27 when entire valley was under curfew. Mr Sehrai and Mr Meraj were arrested on August 29 and 27 respectively and later booked under PSA.

The state home department on September five, passed an order for shifting all the four detenues to jails in Jammu region after Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, detained them under PSA.

The Kashmir High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom, along with a team of lawyers, submitted an application before the Chief Justice, Justice Manmohan Sareen pleading that the habeas corpus petitions filed by them be heard.

The Chief Justice responded to the application and ordered that the cases be put before Justice Hussain.

Challenging the detention under PSA, the defence counsels described the detainees as illegal and unconstitutional and pleaded not to shift them.

The cases would come up for hearing on September 16.

UNI BAS GL GC1509

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