Gushi (Kupwara), Nov 2-209: Hajira Begum of this village died last month after a painful 14-year wait for her husband, Ghulam Qadir Bhat, who has been languishing in jail since his arrest in 1994. Her four children, who never saw their parents together and performed her last rites, are inconsolable.
Bhat, who has been charged with involvement in H N Wanchoo’s murder along with Dr Ashiq Husain Faktoo, was a police constable allegedly involved in militant activities. In 2000, however, the TADA court had acquitted him of the charges and granted him bail. But, he was never released. Instead, the Central Bureau of Investigation moved the Apex Court.
In August 2001, the Supreme Court sentenced Bhat to life imprisonment directing that his time in jail from 1994 should be taken into account. However, the government did not honour the second part of the order. The family moved from pillar to post to get him shifted from the Kathua jail but did not succeed. “In fact, the co-accused in the case has been shifted to Srinagar,” the family said, adding that the High Court Bar Association has seldom come forward to plead the case.
On his arrest, Bhat left behind his aged mother, wife and four children. His mother lost her eyesight after his arrest. However, showing exemplary fortitude and courage, Hajira looked after the family in face of heavy odds. “She was always concerned about our well being,” said her son, Rayees-ul-Qadir.
Rayees has graduated. Another son of Bhat, Najeeb-ul-Qadir is suffering from heart disease. Adnan-ul-Qadir is pursuing hiseducation in an orphanage while the youngest of his sons, Nasir-ul-Islam, is studying in a government school. Rayees-ul-Qadir says he has never seen his parents together. “Our mother was everything for us after dad’s arrest. Today we have losteverything,” he said and broke down. Source GK