Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party Shabir Shah was rearrested, again, on March 31.This was Shah’s third arrest over the past eight months. As soon as he stepped out of Srinagar"/>

Shabir Shah

central jail, police swooped on Shah and shifted him to Boniyar police station on judicial remand.  Shah was arrested under Public Safety Act on August 29, 2008 in the wake of leading large scale protest rallies during the Amarnath land agitation. One of the charges levelled against him was the work done by him in uniting two factions of Hurriyat conference. Shah had led the march to Muzaffarabad along with the Hurriyat (M) leader, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, who was killed in police firing.
The third arrest came despite an order by High Court quashing his detention orders. While almost all other leaders have been released in the aftermath of land agitation, Shah, who emerged from oblivion into the thick of Kashmir politics during the agitation period, continues to languish in jail.  
He is also being accused wielding a considerable clout in secessionist and militant circles and motivating large number of youth to join militant/secessionist ranks in his sermons.
From Boniyar police station, Shah was later shifted to Baramulla sub jail. According to reports, Shah was shuttled between Boniyar and the sub-jail four times during the day as jail authorities in Baramulla argued that they did not have the facilities to house him. Almost all the separatist leaders have condemned the re-arrest and the subsequent treatment met out to him.
DFP leaders said that Shah is suffering from serious health problems and accused government of denying him required medical facilities. They were apprehensive that if Shah is not provided proper health care, he health condition would deteriorate further.
Having spent much of his life in Indian jails, Shah gained international coverage as an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience in 1990s. Shah remains an important figure in Kashmiri politics. But he is also controversial. Despite 20 years in Indian prisons, and a rapturous popular welcome in Kashmir when he was released in October 1994, his political activities since have antagonised both India and fellow Kashmiri leaders. He declined to join the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) because it would not adopt his more liberal agenda, and chose instead to start a new political party.


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