Srinagar: The team constituted by the Delhi Hourt to investigate the assault on 18 prisoners inside Tihar Jail has sought two weeks more to complete its probe. A source told Kashmir Reader that the case was listed for hearing before the Delhi High Court on Wednesday but it has been adjourned to February 7 after the court granted the investigating committee more time to complete its investigations.
The investigating committee, led by a district court judge, asked for at least 15 days more from the Delhi HC Chief Justice to submit its report. “The court granted more time to the team and the case has been listed for next hearing on February 7, 2018,” the source said.
The High Court constituted the investigating committee after a preliminary fact-finding committee reported that on the night of November 21, 2017, a team of Tamil Nadu Special Police (TSP) that was part of the Tihar Jail staff assaulted 18 prisoners in the High Risk Ward of the jail. Among those prisoners were four Kashmiris, including Shahid Yousuf, the son of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin.
The 18 prisoners sustained severe injuries from the assault and were referred to AIIMS for treatment on the orders of the Delhi HC. The assault came to the notice of the court only when a petition was submitted before it by the lawyer of Shahid Yousuf.
After the attack on the prisoners came to light, the families of the Kashmiri prisoners demanded that their kin be immediately shifted to a jail within Jammu and Kashmir. “We met the chief minister at her Srinagar home where she expressed sympathy with us,” said Farooq Ahmad Malik, father of one of the injured Tihar prisoners, Ehtisham Malik. “But nothing has been done in this regard so far, even though a month has passed since the inhuman attack on our sons,” he said.
Malik said that the investigating committee has met his son twice, and he narrated to them “the sequence of events which happened that night.”
“There has been only one action so far and that is the suspension of the jail staff accused of the brutal attack,” Malik said. “It has been done to avoid interference in the investigation by the court-appointed team,” Malik said.
He said that Ehtisham told him that there was a “complete change in jail staff’s attitude towards Kashmiri prisoners after the court intervention” – “but it lasted only two days.”