SRINAGAR: Chairman Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Geelani on Tuesday expressed deep anguish over the plight of detainees languishing in different jails in and outside valley, saying despite court orders, they are not being released.
“Those lodged in different jails are not criminals but political prisoners who are being subjected to detention for their political convictions and outlook,” Geelani said in a statement. “Their detention is being prolonged on one pretext or the other.”
Challenging the role of NIA, Geelani said that detaining pro-freedom people, leaders and activists is the Government of India’s admission that it has not been able to politically defeat the people’s struggle for freedom in J&K. “And keeping in view the disputed nature of state, NIA has no role or jurisdiction to arrest or detain anyone on flimsy grounds,” he said.
He said shifting prisoners from Srinagar Central Jail to outside valley jails after the escape of an inmate is “neither justified nor legal”. He said Kashmiri inmates are denied medical treatment and contact with their near and dear ones.
Terming Kathua Jail a “torture chamber”, Hurriyat chairman demanded immediate shifting of all Kashmiri prisoners lodged in various outside Kashmir jails to valley. He said the health condition of Kashmiri detainees in Tihar and other jails is deteriorating.
Demanding immediate shifting of all detainees to valley, the veteran resistance leader said these prisoners are not criminals and the treatment meted to them is violation of human rights charter.
He urged ICRC, Asia Watch, Amnesty International and other human rights organisations to “come to the rescue of these detainees and impress (upon) India to treat detainees as per (the) charter laid by international community”.