Eleven months after revoking his detention under the stringent Public Safety Act, Jammu and Kashmir Police has initiated the process of taking NRI businessman Mubeen Shah into custody and attachment of his properties. The police had registered a case against Shah in June this year under various sections of the Indian Penal Code over his purported Facebook post against non-locals residing in the Kashmir Valley.
“Yes, we are in the process of securing an arrest warrant against him after the police station concerned found his post on social networking site was aimed at creating communal tension," Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh said. Based out of Malaysia, where he runs his handicrafts business, Shah used to visit Kashmir once a year. Earlier, he was the president of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Singh said that during course of investigation, police teams made correspondence with Facebook to get details of the person holding the account on the social media platform. “On the basis of the evidence collected so far, a request has been made to the competent court for getting arrest warrant issued against him…. The process of getting a lookout notice issued on the basis of the arrest warrant is also in progress," he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police is trying to secure an Interpol Red Corner Notice against Shah. The police chief said that correspondence has also been made with the revenue authorities to get his property details to declare him a proclaimed offender and subsequent attachment of his property as per law.
Shah was detained on August 6 last year, a day after the Centre abrogated special status of the erstwhile state and bifurcated it into union territories — Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. Shah’s wife moved the Supreme Court challenging the order and on December 7 last year he was initially released “temporarily" from Agra jail and later all charges against him were dropped after the Jammu and Kashmir administration revoked the PSA order against him.
“In exercise of the powers conferred under section 19 (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978, the government hereby in supersession of government order…dated December 6, revokes the detention order…dated August 7, 2019…," the order said. A Supreme Court bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai declared the petition of Shah’s wife as infructuous after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the union territory, said the PSA has been permanently revoked.
Shah figured during the US Congress hearing on human rights in South Asia, focused on India’s action in Kashmir last November, when Indian-American Democratic lawmaker from Washington’s 7th Congressional district Pramila Jayapal raised the mater of his detention. “One of the individuals detained without charges is Dr Mubeen Shah, who is the uncle of my constituents in Seattle…this is former CEO of chamber of commerce. His urologist who is affiliated with Registrar General of Hospital has called for his immediate release because of serious medical issues." Assuring Jayapal, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice G Wells had replied that America had taken up the issue of Shah with the Indian government.
“Yes, we explicitly raised the case of Dr Shah and shared your concern about the grounds for detention particularly given the health condition. We have received a response that he is receiving medication," she said.