Bar urges HC to take ‘judicial note’ of stripping, torture of inmates in Kotebalwal jail

Srinagar: Kashmir High Court Bar Association on Thursday urged High Court to take judicial notice of subjecting under trial prisoners and detainees in Kotebalwal jail Jammu and and initiate action against the culprits, who have “no respect for the human rights of the prisoners.”

“The High Court having been asked by the Supreme Court to monitor the conditions of the jails and the treatment meted out to the (detainees) and undertrial prisoners lodged over there, is therefore, required to act fast as it has to furnish a report to the Apex Court within two months regarding the conditions of jails and the treatment meted out to the detainees and undertrial prisoners by the jail authorities,” a spokesman of the lawyers body said and condemned the subjecting of undertrial prisoners and detainees lodged in Kotebalwal Jail, Jammu, to physical torture and stripping and also keeping them in solitary confinement in small cells for weeks together, on their entry into the jail.

The assault on Mohammad Shafi Shah and Javid Ahmad, both hailing from Kashmir and presently lodged in Tihar Jail, who were given a ruthless beating recently, also deserves to be investigated and “those responsible for the dastardly act, deserves to be punished”, the spokesman added.

In a statement issued here, the lawyers’ body also strongly condemned the opening of fire by army on a group of people at Walarhama village in Pahalgam area of South Kashmir Anantnag district.

At least five civilians including an old woman were injured and had to be rushed to District Hospital Anantnag, where two of them with severe bullet injuries, had to be operated upon to save their life.

“The Bar Association maintains that earlier also, when the braid choppers were caught by people at Kulgam, Kupwara and Uri, the army and police immediately came on spot and resorted to firing and teargas shelling to rescue the braid choppers and it is exactly the same what has happened at Wularhama, where a braid chopper, who attempted to cut the hair of a local lady was spotted by the people, who wanted to catch-hold of him but he ran away and took shelter in an army vehicle which was doing rounds of the village and to save the culprit, the army resorted to indiscriminate firing, which caused chaos and confusion amongst the people and also injuries to many of them,” the spokesman said.

The lawyers’ body also condemns the continued incarceration of DeM chief Asiya Andrabi, her aide Fehmeeda Sofi, Muslim League chairman Masarat Alam Bhat and hundreds of others, whose orders of detention have either quashed by the High Court or the period of detention has expired, but instead of releasing them, they have been booked in fictitious cases and have been lodged in jails, both inside and outside the State, to make their release impossible.

“The Bar Association also express serious concern over the extension of Judicial remand of Shabir Ahmad Shah; Nayeem Ahmad Khan; Farooq Ahmad Dar; Altaf Ahmad Shah; Mehraj-ud-din Kalwal; Peer Saifullah; Ayaz Akbar; Shahid-ul-Islam and Zahoor Ahmad Watali, by a Court at Delhi, most of whom are physically unwell, due to their continued incarceration and failure to provide them the necessary medical aid and assistance, which also stands substantiated by the medical record, besides others of Nayeem Ahmad Khan, whose platelets have gone down to twenty thousand, putting his life in danger.



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