Jammu and Kashmir: Modi govt forcing detainees to sign a bond ensuring their silence on ‘recent events’

The Jammu and Kashmir government has been asking its detainees to sign a bond that prohibits them from speaking against the “present times” in the state; thus asking them not to speak against Article 370’s abrogation or the communication clampdown.

This bond, that the State is compelling detainees, including top politicians to sign is mandatory for their release. As per the bond, they cannot speak against “the recent events” in Jammu and Kashmir, which seems like an obvious reference to the recent abrogation of Article 370.

Senior lawyers and activists allege that the bond is a modified version of the document that potential troublemakers are asked to sign normally, under Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The Kashmiri detainees will have to undertake that they will “not make any comment(s) or issue statement(s) or make public speech(s) hold or participate in public assembly(s) related to recent events in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, at the present time, since it has the potential of endangering the peace and tranquillity and law and order in the state or any part thereof for a period of one year”.

The bond asks them to then pay ₹10,000 as surety and then, ₹40,000 in case of a breach.

Potential troublemakers normally sign a Section 107 bond, which is called the “Bond to keep the peace” but this new version asks the signatories not to “comment, or issue statements or make public speeches or participate in public assemblies, related to recent events in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Rights activist Khurram Parvez said there were about 5,000 to 6,000 people detained during the 75-day-old media clampdown, a number of whom have been released under this bond.

The government has refused to reveal the number of detentions during the period but claims it is far less. Khurram said the government was also forcing 5 to 20 people to sign a community bond.

The Telegraph recently spoke to the family of a nine-year-old boy, the youngest victim of the clampdown, who was allegedly detained for two days. The family was forced to bring around 20 people — relatives and acquaintances — to give it in writing that the boy would not commit any offense in the future.

General Bashir denies having any information about this bond, as per the report in The Telegraph.

High Court lawyer Altaf Khan, who is the counsel for two women who were released after being forced to sign the bond recently, called it illegal and a contradiction of the Constitution. Khan added that the two women were also asked to sign an affidavit apologizing for protesting and to promise that they would not repeat the action.

Ilija Mufti, daughter of the People’s Democratic Party leader, Mehbooba Mufti, claimed, also tweeted from Mehbooba’s account that “the authorities are also blackmailing them [political detainees] to sign ‘bonds’ under which a gag order will be imposed & political activities will be banned”.