[Reader-list] Freedom for first terror act victim

Javed javedmasoo at gmail.com
Tue Nov 16 10:26:02 IST 2010

Freedom for first terror act victim

Srinagar, Nov. 14: The Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) died six
years ago but the first person to be charged under it had to wait till
yesterday to get his life back.

On Saturday, a Srinagar court dismissed the nine-year-old Pota case
against Ghulam Mohammad Dar that had led to the carpet weaver spending
18 months in jail and his family being temporarily evicted from their

The resident of Srinagar’s old city was arrested on November 22, 2001,
just one day after the NDA government promulgated the Prevention of
Terrorism Ordinance, which was later turned into an act. The UPA
government repealed the law in September 2004 but the case against Dar

“I thank God that I am a free man now. The decision has come ahead of
Id and I could not have expected better,” Dar said today. The state
police had arrested him for his alleged links with the militant outfit
Al Bader. But the judge noted that “on November 21, 2001, when the
ordinance came into effect, Al Bader had not been declared a banned

Dar’s arrest under the controversial law had led to an uproar in the
Valley, especially after the authorities, using the act’s provisions,
sealed his home. The family, including his two sons and aged mother,
moved briefly to a makeshift shelter on the roadside.

The protests, however, forced the government to hand the house back to
the family nine days later. Dar, though, had to wait 18 months for

“I always feared re-arrest. It has been a long-drawn battle for me,” he said.

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