After facing flak, the Jammu and Kashmir police on Sunday released 17 youths, including an artist who was booked under the controversial Public Safety Act, a day after they were detained for holding an anti-Israel protest in Srinagar.
Artist Mudasir Gul, who had painted pro-Palestine graffiti, was among 20 people detained by the police on Saturday in the city’s Padshahi Bagh area.
“Seventeen boys were handed over to families via Community Bond after counselling. They violated section 51 of DM Act by participating in protests during corona curfew,” a police official said.
32-year-old Gul had drawn the face of a weeping woman whose head was draped in a Palestinian flag. The words ‘We are Palestine’ were written in bold, white letters.
“He was released on Sunday evening and has reached his home,” Gul’s elder brother Sami-Ullah Rather said.
On Saturday, police detained Gul and made him deface the graffiti before taking him away.
Rather said Gul was interested in art and would dedicate about 18 hours a day to it.
“We are happy he has been released,” he said.
The arrest of the youths had drawn a sharp reaction from PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti, Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.