Editor of a local Urdu daily has been arrested in Srinagar in a nearly three-decade-old terror-related case, officials said on Tuesday. Ghulam Jeelani Qadri, editor of 'Daily Afaaq', was arrested late on Monday night in a case that was registered in 1990 under section three of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
He was arrested on a non-bailable warrant issued by the then chief judicial magistrate on October 15, 1992. The law under which Qadri has been arrested deals with intention to overawe the government as by law established or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people or to alienate any section of the people or to adversely affect the harmony amongst different sections of the people does any act or thing.
He was arrested from his residence in Balgarden area of the city, Qadri's family said. "It was nearly midnight when police came to arrest Qadri sahib. No reasons were given before taking him away, a police official asked him when is the election," a relative said.
Kashmir Editors' Guild, of which Qadri is a member, has moved court to seek bail.
Various journalist bodies, including the Kashmir Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), has condemned the midnight arrest of Qadri, alleging it seems the aim of the government's move was to muzzle the voice of local press.
"Qadri was attending his office on daily basis and there was absolutely no need for carrying out a midnight raid at his residence. The working journalists here are wondering about the timing of execution of the warrant which was issued 26 years ago," a spokesman of the KUWJ said.
The KUWJ has demanded Qadri's immediate release and a probe into the midnight arrest of the editor.