SRINAGAR: A Pakistani national illegally detained for the past two years in Kot Balwal Jail has developed psychiatric problems caused by his prolonged incarceration.
Mazhar Iqbal, a resident of Bagoona Sharief, Pakistan, was arrested for illegal border crossing in 2014 and was lodged at police station Satwari, Jammu, under FIR no.72/2014, section 14, Foreigners’ Act. He was simultaneously convicted for the offence and has completed his term of sentence. But he is yet to be deported back to his native country, which has left him with emotional and behavioural disorders.
Though the court has directed the State to take the necessary steps for his deportation, the state government is yet to file a response in this regard.
The court in a previous hearing of the case on July 26 directed the state government to file a response within four weeks of deporting him, laying out the steps taken for the purpose by the concerned authorities.
The Inspector General of Police, CID, has already intimated the Principal Secretary, Home, that the Pakistani national has completed his sentence and is not involved in any case. In this connection, the matter needs to be taken up with the Ministry of Home Affairs for according the deportation the necessary sanction.
Counsel for the petitioner Mir Shafkat Hussain said, “It is a sorry state of affairs where a person who is not psychologically fit is kept in detention. Given his having completed his sentence term, he should have been deported back, but unfortunately the State is not taking any concrete steps.
“When I went to meet him a few days ago at Kot Balwal Jail, he remained quiet when I tried to speak with him and didn’t answer anything. He only says “aaaa, aaaa” to everything, and nothing else. It is heartbreaking how being kept in illegal detention has left him with this mental disorder; this is something the State needs to answer.”