‘They’re not criminals but political prisoners’

‘They’re not criminals but political prisoners’
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SRINAGAR: Muslim League chairman Mushtaq-ul-Islam on Sunday accused authorities of jails within and outside Jammu and Kashmir of “ill-treating” Kashmiri prisoners, saying that information pouring in about the plight of Kashmiri detainees is “deeply disturbing and a matter of serious concern” for the people of Kashmir.
“The treatment meted out to Kashmiri detainees and under-trials, particularly in Jammu central jail, Kot Bhalwal, Bangalore, Jaipur, Bengal, Kathua, Udhampur, and Tihar jails is inhuman,” he alleged in a statement.
He said detainees are “tortured” in jails to “break their will and determination and disturb them psychologically.”
Mushtaq-ul-Islam said that non-availability of medicines and medical care and substandard quality of food proves it beyond doubt that they are the victims of “vendetta policy” being followed by New Delhi to crush the sentiment and force them to submission.
He said these prisoners are not criminals but political prisoners who are facing detention for their political convictions and outlook and dealing with them “inhumanly” is a violation of the Geneva Conventions of rights and dignity of prisoners and even against basic human practices and ethics.
“Even the visitors and relatives who come to see them in jails are deliberately harassed and tormented. All this is done in complete violation of the jail manual which lays emphasis on the honour and dignity of prisoners,” he said.
“There are scores of prisoners who have already completed their term, but they continue to languish in prisons,” Mushtaq-ul-Islam said and lamented that the trials of prisoners are “repeatedly deferred” to ensure that they are not released. “Even the judiciary is following its biased approach to satisfy so-called collective conscience of their nation.”
“Even when the prisoners booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) complete their term, the police and other agencies prepare another dossier to prolong their detention,’’ Mushtaq-ul-Islam said. “We pay our gratitude to these prisoners for their commitment and steadfastness.”

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