SRINAGAR: Expressing serious concern over reports of the thrashing of Kashmiri prisoners in Tihar jail, the joint resistance leadership (JRL) on Tuesday said the “ghastly act” has put the lives of all Kashmiri political prisoners at risk.
The JRL, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, in a statement alleged that such “coward” attacks are being carried out on the directions of the authorities.
“Thrashing incident at Tihar jail is extremely inhuman and immoral act,” the JRL said. “It is extreme State-sponsored oppression, and the tall claims (of the authorities) and (their) rhetoric about humanity and democracy are mere hoax.”
Strongly condemning the thrashing of Shahid Yusuf, son of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, in the high-security ward of Tihar jail, the JRL said that criminals are attacking and taking extreme steps against Kashmiri detainees at the jail authorities’ behest.
“The attack on Syed Shahid Yusuf and other prisoners was carried (out) by the jail administration. Those claiming to be the champions of democracy are violating the basic norms of humanity (and are) treating these detainees in total violation of norms set by (the) international community,” the leadership said.
“These criminals have admitted that they are carrying out the orders of the jail administration and are attacking and injuring Kashmiri prisoners. The 18 accused were injured by Tamil Nadu Police deputed in Tihar jail. Dr Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, Ahtisham, Shahzad Ahmad, Mohammad Subhan, Ayaz Akbar, Raja Meraj u Din Kalwal, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Aslam Wani and Dr Waseem are lodged in (the) same ward.”
Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik said these detainees are not criminals involved in any offence but they “represent political aspirations of their nation, and subjecting (them) to physical torture reflects the sectarian mindset of the authorities”.
Terming the attack as a “slur” for the Indian authorities, the JRL said such acts “won’t break our resolve and (we) will pursue freedom mission till its logical end”.
The leadership said the authorities are even ignoring the Supreme Court ruling that a detainee should be kept in the jail which is nearest to his home so that he can easily meet his family and children.
“(These) detainees are subjected to vengeance. Despite sufficient accommodation in local jails, they are shifted to outside jails and as such their families face immense difficulties in seeking meeting with their wards,” it said.
The JRL has appealed to international human rights organisations including the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Asia Watch and Amnesty International to take cognisance of the plight of Kashmiri prisoners and the “inhuman” and “hostile” treatment they face in Tihar jail.
The leadership urged the international rights bodies to facilitate “suitable treatment” to those injured in the thrashing incident and to ensure their security and safety.