Kupwara DDC members seek release of Engineer Rashid

Kashmir Times. Dated: 10/2/2021 12:22:57 PM

SRINAGAR, Oct 1: The district development councilors in frontier Kupwara district of Kashmir asked Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nìtyanand Rai to intervene to release former legislator Engineer Rashid.
Rai Thursday reached the district for a three-day visit, as part of the Union Government’s policy of outreach programme to Jammu and Kashmir. Nearly 70 Union Ministers are visiting Jammu and Kashmir for nine weeks starting from September 12.
According to officials during the interaction, chairman, block development council, Langate, Showkat H Pandith; chairman, block development council, Mawar Tahir A Mir, and chairman, block development council, Qaziabad Bashir Ahmad Mir, requested the Minister to release Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) patron and two-times former MLA Langate Constituency, Engineer Rashid. Pandith told the Minister that Rashid participated in Lok Sabha Elections in 2019 and got 1,01500 votes as an Independent candidate from Baramulla Parliamentary constituency.
“The meeting was held at about 6:30 p.m. yesterday and we raised the issue of Engineer Rashid. I conveyed to the Minister that Rashid has been all along peoples’ representative and should be released,” Pandith said. “We narrated many incidents of Rashid’s humanistic approach towards his constituency and people of the area,” Pandith said. “The Minister has assured that he will discuss the issue at an appropriate forum,” he said. “It is sad that despite being a mainstream politician who always talked about peace and peaceful resolutions of the issues, the mainstream has forgotten Rashid. Rashid is the only mainstream politician who is in detention. We are hopeful after talking to the Minister,” Pandith said. “People are asking us why we don’t take Rashid’s prolonged arrest with the government. People are complaining that the mainstream has forgotten Rashid. That is we thought to speak up at an appropriate forum,” Pandith said.
Rashid was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on August 9, four days after the government revoked Article 370 in connection with a terror funding case in Kashmir. Rashid was the first mainstream politician who was arrested by the NIA in the case. He is under detention in Tihar jail.
Rashid contested parliamentary elections from Baramulla after the Assembly the State Legislature was dissolved.
Rashid was part of the Gupkar declaration, a resolution passed by the National Conference, People’s Democratic Party, Congress, on August 4, 2019, to defend J&K’s special status. A day later, on August 5, 2019, the BJP government revoked Article 370. Over the years, Rashid has been on the forefront in taking up issues of alleged human rights violations, and has remained controversial for taking on many issues including his calls for having talks with militants.
Rashid last year issued a message from Tihar asking the youth not to pick up a gun or stone but remain steadfast in raising their issues.
Ahead of the second phase of district development council (DDC) elections last year, Rashid's audio message said, “Our boys should be in schools and colleges and I will pick up their issues for redressal.”



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