Twenty-year-old Tauseef Ahmad Sheikh, who lives in Srinagar’s downtown area, dropped out of school after Class 8. About four years ago, he started taking heroin. According to the police, he eventually started selling the drug.
His family deny that he was a drug peddler. However, a relative said Sheikh had three police cases against him under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Every time he was arrested, his family would bail him out and try to make him mend his ways. Then in September, the relative said, Sheikh was held for theft. “He would take money from mother’s or father’s pocket secretly but this was the first time he stole,” the relative said.
After a month in Srinagar’s central jail, Sheikh was taken to a police station near his home. “When we went there the next day, they informed us he had been booked under PSA and would be shifted to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu,” the relative recalled.
The PSA or Public Safety Act is a stringent preventive detention law specific to Jammu and Kashmir. According to the provisions of the law, an individual may be held for a year without trial if they are deemed to be a threat to…