In police custody after offending IAS officer, J&K activist released

In police custody after offending IAS officer, J&K activist released

An activist in Jammu and Kashmir, who spent four days in police custody after his remarks at a Janta Darbar angered Ganderbal Deputy Commissioner Krittika Jyotsna, has been released.

A senior police official confirmed to The Indian Express that Sajad Ahmad Sofi was released on Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday, The Indian Express had reported that Sofi, 50, was detained by J&K Police for saying that the people could not have expectations from officers from outside the region.

Sofi had made the remarks on June 10 at a Janta Darbar with Baseer Ahmad Khan, the advisor to J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha. Jyotsna, an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh-cadre who was posted to the Union Territory recently, was present at the hearing and strongly objected to what Sofi said.

Soon after the hearing, Sofi was booked under IPC Section 153A (promoting enmity between the groups) and jailed. After he was given bail by a local court on June 12, police held him under preventive detention for being a “threat to peace”.

Several political leaders, including People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone and CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami had termed Sofi’s arrest as an abuse of power and had demanded his immediate release.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Mehraj, a close friend of Sofi, told The Indian Express that he had been released on Tuesday evening from Dignibal sub jail, where he had been shifted from Safapora police station.

According to Mehraj, the delegation led by Sofi had taken up developmental issues with Khan on June 10. “The group had demanded a degree college for Safapora besides a solid waste management plant… It had also demanded transfer of a chunk of land from SKUAST (Sheri Kashmir University of Agricultural Science) at Manasbal for setting up a mini Secretariat for Safapora.”

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