Terrorism connection: Court finds no evidence against Kashmiri youth in Kerala

By TwoCircles.net Staff Correspondent,

Peerumed: A Kerala court yesterday stated that there was no evidence for any terrorism connection of the Kashmiri youth Althaf Ahmed Khan who has been living in the state for the last eight years. The order of the Perumed Judicial First Class Magistrate Court put an end to the terrorism allegation put on Althaf by the police and media.

Support TwoCircles

Althaf is a Kashmiri who has been working in a handicraft shop named ‘Indocraft’ in Kumali. Problems arose when he applied for a passport to go abroad in search of better job prospects. He was arrested on January 5, 2008 reportedly grounds that the police had information of him being a member of the Pakistani terrorist group Hizb-ul Mujahideen. He was imprisoned at the Viyyur Central Jail for a month. The High Court allowed him bail on February 14 on condition that he should not go out of the police station limits of Kumali. The police reportedly made up a story that Althaf was a terrorist and that he was in hiding in Kumali. He was charged with cases of disguise and producing fake document.

Magistrate Roshan Thomas acquitted and released Althaf stating that the police had not been able to prove the charges they had made. Adv Shine Varghese argued for Althaf in the court. Althaf expressed his happiness in having been able to prove his innocence in the holy month of Ramadan. He also said that his first wish was to visit his aged parents in Srinagar whom he had not been able to visit for the last two years.

The terror hunt of the Kerala police in this issue reportedly arose when the Kashmir police raised some doubts about Althaf during the police verification for passport. He was reportedly arrested in Kashmir in his school days on the allegation that he had kept weapons, but was found innocent and released. Althaf was soon arrested and the police carried out widespread raids in the houses and business institutions of Kashmiris in Kumali. Police and certain media came up with fabricated stories when some organizations accused all Kashmiris of terrorism. A newspaper even reported that Althaf had been to Bengaluru from where he fixed new hair for diguise. This led to stories framing him as a hardcore terrorist. Amidst all these, nobody cared to note that Althaf had left Kashmir for Kerala to escape from the rising terrorist activities in the valley.

However, the new court order has come as a great relief to Althaf who got even his marriage cancelled because of the terror accusations. Other Kashmiris in Kumali are also happy at the court order proving the innocence of their friend.