Immidiate Release of a Student of MERC Peerzada Iqbal

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A student of Journalism has been detained by police for allegedly having links with
militants; a charge which his family and friends say is baseless. Pirzada Mohammad Iqbal, first semester student of Media Education Research center (MERC) of the University of Kashmir, has been detained at the Ram Munshi Bagh Police station in Srinagar since July 18 for allegedly receiving a call from
a member of a Pakistan-based militant group. A few of Iqbal’s classmates
pleading anonymity said, “Four days ago he received a
call when we all were in the classroom. Then he told us
that the call was from Ram Munshi Bagh Police station and
they wanted him to come to the station immediately.” They said Iqbal informed his
uncle who came along to the police station. “But his uncle
was told to leave and Iqbal was taken into custody.” A Police official said there
were adverse reports against the youth from the
Intelligence Bureau and that investigations into the case
were on. Relatives and Family of the youth, however, say
deliberate attempts are being made to frame Iqbal on
“baseless” charges. “We do receive calls from Pakistan but we have relatives there. We have had no militants calling us or him ever,” a relative,
pleading anonymity, said. He said police were forcing
Iqbal to admit the charges. “If they think he is lying, why
don’t they show the recording of the call?” the
relative said. But the police officials said information about Iqbal’s
links with militants of Pakistan was given by intelligence agencies who, he
said, had also specifies the duration of the call. “But we don’t need to show
the recording clip to the family,” he said. The youth’s friends, however,
say they smelled a rat after anti-India status updates came
up from his Facebook account even when he was in police
custody. “A person is in lock-up and has no access to the internet,
how can he use Facebook,” asked one of the students
who visited the Press colony in Srinagar – where most of the media have their offices. “This shows that they want to make up false cases against
him and deliberately frame him."

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