Afzal Hanged: Questions raised over detention of journalist

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Ifthikhar Gilani
New Delhi, Feb 11: Several questions are being raised over the detention of a Delhi-based journalist and his family by Delhi police, following the hanging of Afzal Guru on Saturday, Feb 9.

Reports say senior journalist Iftikhar Gilani, who works as an assistant editor for English newspaper DNA was detained in a flat for several hours by Delhi police after Guru, who was convicted for the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament was hanged in Tihar jail.

Gilani, is the son-in-law of Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani. But the senior journalist has announced that he has nothing to do with separatist leader's politics and ideology.

"On Saturday morning, he and his wife were detained for five hours by officers from the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, who also locked his two school-going children into the bedroom of their flat," says a report in The Hindu.

The civil society has slammed the action of police.

Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju has demanded that the officers responsible be suspended and charge-sheeted.

Justice Katju has written a letter to Home Secretary RK Singh. Katju has termed the action of the Delhi Police as "high-handed" and "outrageous".

"If these allegations are correct, the concerned police officers, who committed these high-handed illegal acts, as well as those higher-ups who were instrumental in ordering these shameful and odious acts are prima facie guilty of serious crimes under Sections 341/342, as well as other provisions of the Indian Penal Code and are also guilty of gross and blatant abuse of their powers," said the letter. Gilani has sent a complaint to the PCI.

"After 15 minutes, I saw they were escorting my wife also to this flat. I got worried, my school-going children were alone in my house. I repeatedly asked them why they are detaining me. All the time, they were quite rude, threatening and warning me of dire consequences... After five hours, an officer type person came and shouted my name and then announced, ‘You are free and you can leave this house' ... When I reached my home, some 7-8 unknown people were there in the drawing room and living room and they had kept my children locked in the bedroom... [They] were terrified," Gilani told The Hindu.

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