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Shah Faesal detained under court order, he was travelling to USA on tourist visa, didn’t have student visa: J&K govt tells court

He was detained by police as he was instigating people against India at Srinagar Airport, the govt said

The Jammu and Kashmir government has refuted the claim of IAS officer turned politician Shah Faesal that he was going to Harvard for studies, saying he didn’t have any student visa when he was travelling to USA. In an affidavit filed at the Delhi High Court in response to habeas corpus petition filed by Shah Faesal seeking his immediate release, the J&K government also said that he is not under unauthorised custody as claimed by him.

They said that Faesal was lawfully detained on August 14 after his arrival in Srinagar, according to an order passed by an Executive Magistrate. Since Shah Faesal was detained after a valid court order, which has not been challenged by anyone, the habeas corpus petition is not maintainable, the J&K Government has argued.

The govt has said that in order to prevent Shah Feasal from leaving the country after the abrogation of Article 370, a Look Out Circular (LOC) was issued against him by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on August 12, at the request of CID Wing of J&K Police. Shah Faesal was “offloaded” by immigration officials at Delhi Airport as per this LOC. He was moved to Srinagar after that.

The J&K government says that after arriving at Srinagar, Faesal started addressing a group of people at the airport, instigating them “against the sovereignty and integrity of India” which had a potential of a breach of peace. He was asked to stop doing so by the In-charge Police Post, but he continued to create an unruly atmosphere at the Srinagar Airport. Therefore, he was “apprehended on the spot” on the verbal orders passed by the Budgam Executive Magistrate 1st Class under Sections 107 read with Section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the government stated.

The J&K government has said that considering that the Petitioner is the President of a political party called the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement, the police had realised that his actions have the potential to cause a breach of peace which can resultantly disrupt the peace and tranquillity of the region.

The magistrate had explained to Shah Faesal that as per laws, he was required to furnish a bond/security of Rs 50,000 for “keeping the peace”. But as he refused to pay the bond, the magistrate had issued an order to keep him in custody till the next day of hearing, which was 24th August.

The government also rejected the claim made by Faesal saying that he was going to Harvard University for studies, saying it is a “false façade”, as he didn’t have any student visa. They have stated that, “It is not conceivable, in absence of any cogent material, to accept the theory that a leader of a political outfit which is very vocal about the constitutional actions taken by the Constitutional bodies of our country on 5th August 2019, would leave the country at this juncture to pursue some academic course at Harvard University, that too without a student visa.”

The J&K Government has emphasised on the fact that apart from showing his tickets from Delhi to Turkey to Frankfurt to Boston, Shah Faesal had “failed to show” any other proof to substantiate his claim of going to the University for studies. They said that Shah Faesal was carrying a tourist visa for the United States, which does not permit joining an academic course there.

The Jammu and Kashmir also disputed the jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court to entertain the habeas corpus petition of Faesal. Claiming that Shah Faesal was detained in Srinagar under an order passed in Srinagar, and he is currently also in Srinagar, the J&K Government has argued that the case falls within the territorial jurisdiction of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court.

The Delhi High Court will hear the matter on September 3.

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