Deport foreign nationals languishing in jails: SHRC

Srinagar: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Thursday called for deporting foreign nationals who have served their term but are still incarcerated at jails in “gross violation of basic human rights.”
A team of the rights panel led by Rafiq Fida, inspected “almost all jails including Central Jail Jammu, where it found several inmates who have already served their term of detention craving for justice.”
“In gross violation of basic human rights, there are some nationals of countries like Bangladesh, Burma, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia languishing in jails under preventive laws, without trial or whose cases have either culminated or they have been acquitted by the courts or have completed their term of conviction….,” the SHRC said in its report.
“….some poor and impoverished ones from Bangladesh, Burma, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia who, in search of their livelihood or mistakenly and inadvertently, crossed LOC illegally and are serving detention for either violating provisions of Immigration Control Rules, crossing LOC without travel documents or their travel documents are expired.”
In an “awful case,” the SHRC said it was moved by the plight of a “woman from Pakistan with a baby in her lap serving detention at Kote Balwal jail, who erroneously and mistakenly walked and entered this side of LoC and is detained for last two years.”
The woman and her baby were being denied “ basic and fundamental rights of life” and they need to be deported to their native country as soon as possible “so that she and her baby may breathe in free air,” the report said.
Citing another case at the Hira Nagar jail, the SHRC said that an 85-year old under- trial who was “languishing and dying down waiting for his trial to complete and see the dawn of his release.”
“Speedy trial is a fundamental right of every prisoner and this octogenarian deserves it the most, so that he may see and stay with his family members during his dying days. Government must look into his case and the jail authorities must speed up his trial in the court of law,” it said.
“…Both the Governments of the State and Centre need to adopt humane approach, show some concern and, in order to ease out the tensions and strengthen the friendship ties between the neighboring countries, take effective measures to deport all such nationals to their native countries as a goodwill gesture so that the right to life and liberty of these jail inmates are espoused and protected.”
SHRC said that although there are vocational centers in place in these jails but these centers are not in tune with the modern and sophisticated lines and lack modern computer culture.
“The authorities of both the jails need to update and upgrade these vocational centers to meet the modern needs and demands. Besides, there is an important role and imperative need to impart religious and spiritual teachings to the jail inmates, in addition to the sports activities so that they will get engaged and their psychological and mental equilibrium is maintained and any agony or pain or mental stress is let out and their psychological bondages are eased out. The authorities need to equip the jails with all such requirements and infrastructure.”
The SHRC has also recommended that there is a compound land of 256 kanals in Kote Bilwal Jail which remains unused. “If properly used, the land will surely prove beneficial, advantageous and profitable.”