The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday set aside the order to detain human rights activist Khurram Parvez, who has been in custody in Kupwara for the past two months, local reporters said. He had been kept in Kot Balwal Jail on charges under the Public Safety Act. He was first detained on September 16, then taken into custody a second time on September 21. However, it remains unclear whether he has been released by the police.
After his first detention, Parvez’s lawyers had submitted that his detention was illegal and no show-cause notice had been issued to him for a bail bond, as required by law. Executive Magistrate Mohammad Amin Najar, who had passed the order to detain him, had admitted that he had neither issued the notice nor had Parvez been produced before the magistrate, for which he was reprimanded by the court.
As many as 52 activists, scholars, writers and lawyers had written an open letter on September 18 demanding his immediate release. Parvez is a programme coordinator with the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, and the chairperson of Asian Federation Against involuntary Disappearances.