My Mother And Sister Have Been Pleading Authorities For Info On Shibli: Jailed Kashmiri Journalist's Brother
Kashmir completes 1032 hours i.e 43 days of being under lockdown with little information percolating through the Valley. No international agencies or national institution has kept the count on human rights violations that are alleged to have happened in Kashmir over the month after the abrogation of Article 370 that provided special status to the blood sodden Himalayan region.
After one million+ army personnel descended the lanes of the Valley, it is estimated that 152+ injured from tear gas, rubber bullets, pellets, and shotgun fire. And, the number of detainees slapped with the Public Safety Act (PSA) in past one month stands at a staggering 300+ including political and bureaucratic bigwigs. The recent arrest was of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.
The families remain clueless of detainees’ whereabouts.
As the wait for normalcy in Kashmir gets prolonged, the story of Qazi Shibli becomes a poignant example of the lost hopes in the Valley.
Shibli, 28 was the Editor of the local daily online portal based out of Anantnag – The Kashmiriyat. Shibli came into notice of the authorities after covering the stories in Kashmir extensively. Days before he was detained i.e. on 25th July, Shibli published two stories on the Kashmiriyat. The former one was based on the army’s interrogation of the ambulances coming through the Pahalgam highway.
The latter was on the circular released by the officials asking people to maintain surplus food supplies and basic necessities at home. Shibli gained traction on various social media platforms for the story. Shibli’s brother Qazi Umair says that the post was also retweeted by Omar Abdullah, Ex-Chief Minister, Jammu-Kashmir that got him incarcerated in the first place.
Being Constantly Shifted From One Jail To Another
According to Shibli’s brother, he was incarcerated in Sherbagh the shifted to a jail in Anantnag and now deported to Bareilly.
“Shibli was called for interrogation by the Police moments after his tweet got retweeted by the renowned faces of Kashmir. Shibli got a hunch of the dark days ahead and went forward with publishing the story,” said Qazi Umair, brother of Shibli.
Shibli was amongst other detainees who were deported to different parts of India in the name of further interrogation by the Judicial Interrogation Centre. According to his brother, Shibli is now detained in Bareilly jail.
“That’s where they send us. Either to Agra or Bareilly, thousands of miles away from Srinagar so that the case wouldn’t get much traction in the media,” Umair added.
Umair told The Logical Indian that the regulations are stricter towards men and enquiring about the whereabouts of the detained can land one in jail.
“My youngest sister did the rounds of the Central Jail to fetch information about Shibli. However, she was denied saying that the authorities cannot reveal about the place of deportation. My mother and sister had been pleading the authorities since the past one month. The information of him being in Bareilly reached us a week ago,” said Umair.
A couple of months ago, the Facebook page of the website was also brought down by the security forces. The page, it’s alleged, maintained a soft stance for Pakistan.