Liyaqat's bail raises hope of fair trial: PDP

Jammu and Kashmir map
Srinagar, May 17: Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today said grant of bail to Hizbul Mujhaideen militant Liyaqat Shah by a court in Delhi makes it obvious that charges slapped against him by Delhi Police were not true.

While the final verdict of the court is pending, the relief granted to Liyaqat has raised hopes of a fair trial for him, a spokesman of the PDP said in a statement here.

In the wake of this development, focus should now shift to the plight of numerous youths from Kashmir who are languishing in different jails of the country including Delhi's Tihar Jail, he said.

"PDP reiterates its demand for a white paper on the status of all prisoners in various jails of the country and providing legal assistance to those among them who can't afford it," the spokesman said.

Rehabilitation policy for those who crossed the Line of Control for arms training, but want to return to lead a peaceful life, needs to be revisited in view of the loopholes that became visible "Shah fiasco", he said.

"The policy needs to be streamlined to ensure hassle-free return of our youth and their purposeful rehabilitation. "Presently, militants who had gone as young people and are now middle aged persons with families, facing immense problems in absence of a proper rehabilitation programme that includes their sustenance, schooling of their children, benefits of citizenship and nationality issues of their spouses," he added.

Referring to the recent acquittal of some Kashmiri youths accused of terrorist activities, he said it is unfortunate that Muslims in general and Kashmiris in particular are viewed with suspicion.

"People from Kashmir are not able to easily get accommodation and are the first targets of police whenever a terror incident takes place," the spokesman said adding that such attitude is unfortunately pushing the youth to alienation and extremism and the vicious cycle of brutalities on innocents continues unabated.


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