Srinagar, Feb 4: Ameer Muslim Deeni Mahaz Dr Muhammad Qasim completes 26 years in prison on February 5 (Tuesday).
A party statement issued to GNS said Dr Qasim “is languishing in jail for holding political views that are unacceptable to the ruling establishment”.
“He has lost half his eyesight and has been advised surgery by doctors. He is taking medicine regularly for his chronic intestinal ailment. His heart disease is a matter of serious concern for his family and well-wishers,” the statement said.
Dr Qasim was born in 1967 in a middle-class family at Zaldagar Srinagar. In 1983, he passed matriculation from the Modern Islamia High School, Nawab Bazar.
Dr Qasim in his autobiography writes that the year 1987 was a turning point for him. “In that year, first time in my life, I felt actively inclined towards Islam,” he writes.
In the same year, Dr Qasim completed his B.Com from Islamia College and in order to appear in the exams of ICWA which were going to be held at Delhi started the preparation for the entrance test.
In 1990, Dr Qasim was appointed as spokesman of the Hizbul Mujahidin (HM) outfit. He did not give up his studies but changed his subject and chose Islamiyat instead of ICWA and with that also started his writing career. He regularly wrote for the local newspapers. His columns were published in the newspapers and journals.
In 1993, he along with his wife and infant child Muhammad were arrested at Srinagar airport while returning from Delhi, the party said in the statement adding that in March 1999, when he was released on bail, Dr Qasim launched a religious organization Muslim Deeni Mahaz.
“From last 23 years, Dr Muhammad Qasim is languishing behind the bars for his political views. Not only his family, his wife and little children are in pain and agony but his well-wishers too are worried due to his continuous imprisonment people of Kashmir are looking for his earliest release. His religious, educational, political and social services to his community are an open book. In this world of freedom of expression and thought, his detention is a question mark on Indian democracy,” the party said.