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Speaker orders probe into minor’s detention under PSA

Govt embarrassed after Rashid produces birth certificate of detainee. Amid demands for review of detentions under controversial Public Safety Act (PSA), Speaker of J&K Legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta Monday ordered inquiry into detention of a minor under the law after MLA Langate Er. Rashid produced his school birth certificate in the House. The detention of Sahil Ahmad of downtown Srinagar echoed in the Legislative Assembly once again this morning when Er. Rashid produced his birth certificate which mentions his age as 14 years. “It is hereby certified that Sahil Ahmad Malik son of Ghulam Mohiuddin Malik was the student of our institute and his date of birth as per the school records vide admission no: 381 is 10-03-2002,” reads the certificate issued by Government Middle School, Pamposh Colony Palpora, Eidgah Srinagar. Waving the birth certificate, Rashid stormed into the Well and demanded action against officials for detaining the minor under the PSA. “This certificate has not been issued by Geelani. Pakistan has no hand in issuance of the certificate,” Rashid sarcastically remarked. As Rashid continued his protests, MLA Kulgam Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami asked the Government to review the PSA detentions. “The Government should show magnanimity and review cases of those who are behind the bars under PSA,” he said. Amid uproarious scenes in the House, Law Minister Abdul Haq Khan accused Rashid of disrupting proceedings of the House. “You always behave like this,” Haq told Rashid. The Minister, however, said the Government will examine the matter and take appropriate action under law. “We are committed to the announcement made by Chief Minister (regarding review of cases) on the floor of the House. We are releasing those who complete their detention period,” he said. “The minors are being lodged in juvenile homes.” As pandemonium prevailed in the House, the Speaker directed the Government to inquire the matter. “You (Government) should inquire into this,” the Speaker said. The Speaker’s direction prompted Rashid to return to his seat. On last Saturday, Deputy Speaker Nazir Gurezi had directed the Government to ascertain Sahil’s age from the school where he was enrolled. “Get his certificates from the school to ascertain his age,” Gurezi had directed the Government.