Srinagar, June 14 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the three minor children of illegally detained Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader, Muhammad Yousuf Falahi, are desperately waiting for their father to come home for this Eid.

It has been more than a year and a half since Muhammad Yousuf Falahi was arrested in Nowgam area of Srinagar during the mass uprising triggered by the extrajudicial killing of popular youth leader, Burhan Wani, in July 2016. Muhammad Yousuf Falahi, a resident of Chitragam area of Shopian, as per his family members was arrested on December 13, 2016, from his rented residence in Nowgam. Since then, he has been kept in various police stations and jails. Family sources said that he was arrested in cases about his involvement in gathering crowds at different places in South Kashmir areas and making anti-India speeches.

Yousuf Falahi’s wife Rehana Yousuf told a Srinagar-based English daily Kashmir Reader that her husband had spent more than ten years in different jails of occupied Kashmir. “The day he got arrested, he was shifted to Kathua jail within hours, even without trial; the police didn’t even let him take clothes with him neither did they tell us where they were shifting him,” she said.

Rehana maintained that the jail authorities were not allowing them to meet her husband. “Despite the intense checking and searches at Central Jail in Srinagar, they never allowed us to meet him face-to-face but forced us to sit two walls away from him and talk,” she said.

She added that her husband is not a criminal but a political prisoner who should be allowed to have all things mentioned by human rights bodies. She said, all she knows is that her husband has ten cases at Police Station Shopian. “There can be more, but I have no information about that. Recently detention of my husband was quashed by court, but he was re-arrested and brought to Shopian where we got a chance to meet him,” she said.

Rahana said that all she can do is take care of her three children – two sons and a daughter. She said that her elder son is studying in Class VI while the two younger children are in class I since they are twins. She repeatedly said that recently when her husband was brought to PS Shopian, he was again put behind bars as if he were a criminal and would flee the police station. “Recently a top police officer told me ‘don’t think about his release, not so long as I am here in Kashmir’, as if it was his personal issue with my husband,” she added.

Locals from Chitragam said that the family was making both ends meet with the help of apple orchards they own. They demanded that Falahi should be released at the earliest so that his kids do not suffer, both in terms of a happy life and their education.


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