Inside Kashmir

Worrying that bail is no more the rule, but exception, Mehbooba on Para’s bail rejection


Srinagar: Former J&K chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said that it is a worrying trend that bail is no more the rule but an exception and an accused is assumed to be guilty without proof.


Ms Mehbooba was reacting to a special court rejecting the bail application of PDP leader Waheed ur Rehman Para on Tuesday, saying the charges against him were ‘grave, serious and heinous in nature’ and that a preliminary analysis of evidence collected so far show he was aiding militancy in J&K in the garb of a politician.


The erstwhile chief minister said that Delhi Court’s judgment in Disha Ravi’s case on Monday that mere allegations don’t amount to a crime is in stark contrast with the Special Court’s decision to reject Waheed’s bail purely on the basis of accusations without evidence.


“Worrying trend that bail is no more the rule but an exception & an accused is assumed to be guilty without proof. Current state of affairs is such that under trials are jailed for months & even years languishing behind bars before charges are proven,” Ms Mehbooba wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.


Para was arrested by National Investigation Agency (NIA) about five days after he filed his nomination paper for District Development Council (DDC) DDC seat from Pulwama. However, he won after his family members and other PDP leader campaigned in his favour.


Nearly one-and-a-half month after his arrest by the NIA on charges of alleged terror links, Para was on January 10 granted bail by Special Judge Sunit Gupta, holding that “offences, particularly falling under Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA), are not prima facie made out against the applicant/accused”.


But, hours after his release, the Counter Intelligence Kashmir (CIK), a wing of J&K police, re-arrested the PDP leader.


Para, who was instrumental in the revival of the PDP in south Kashmir, especially in militancy-hit Pulwama, allegedly surfaced during the probe into the suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh case. Singh was arrested while ferrying two HM militants out of the valley in a vehicle on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway earlier this year.


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