More than five years after the J&K police arrested him on terrorism charges, two years after a judge found no prima facie evidence against him, and three months after a judge squashed a detention order against him, Kashmiri journalist Aasif Sultan remains jailed. The police arrested the 36-year-old in another case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act case on 29 February 2024, the same day he reached home for the first time in 2,010 days.

By Article 14

Srinagar: On 29 February 2024, Aasif Sultan’s six-year-old daughter Areeba saw her father as a free man when he reached home in Srinagar, Kashmir, after 2,010 days of incarceration in Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. 

Areeba saw him behind bars or in handcuffs from behind a netted wall in the Srinagar central jail before he was moved to Ambedkar Nagar district jail in UP and  Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu.

“It felt as if she was seeing him for the first time,” said Muhammed Sultan Sayed, Aasif’s 67-year-old father, speaking of the day Sultan returned after five and half years. 

Any hope for Sultan and his daughter to pick up the pieces and make up for lost years was shattered when J&K police arrested him in a five-year-old case later that day. 

“On the day he was arrested again, she asked me, ‘He just returned. Where did he go now?’” Sayed, who retired from a clerical job in a government office a few years ago, said. “I told her he had only finished half of the Quran, and now he’s gone to finish the rest. What else could I have told a six-year-old? I just hope he returns home for Eid.”

Eid has come and gone, but Sultan is jailed in a case Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, related to the incident of rioting inside Srinagar central jail on 4 April 2019. 

This story was originally published in Read the full story here.