SRINAGAR: The joint resistance leadership (JRL) on Monday said that “persecuting” the families of opponents is “nothing but cowardice” and that the spree of arrests and imposing hardships on political prisoners is “despotism”.
The JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik in a statement issued here condemned the arrest spree and nocturnal raids.
“From southern districts to northern districts and central Kashmir, a spree of arrests is going on unabated and thousands of young and old are being put behind bars and tortured physically and mentally,” the leadership.
The JRL said that some months ago, the Director General of Police issued a statement urging upon warring parties to not involve families into hostilities. Even JRL at that time echoed same assertions and urged everyone to spare families but today, villages, towns and localities of Kashmir especially in southern districts are witnessing a reign of fresh arrests wherein family members of those in armed and political struggle are being arrested, tortured and humiliated by police, SOG and other forces.
This is exactly the opposite of the views expressed by DGP and is highly condemnable, the leadership said.
JRL added, “Kashmiris abducted by NIA and lodged at Tihar Delhi are also facing same torture. Syeda Asiya Andrabi, Fahmeeda Sofi and Nahida Nasreen who were recently shifted to this jail have been put in different cells where they are not even allowed to walk for some minutes. These ailing ladies are being provided eatables in polythene bags and their request to get some plastic plate or mug have been rejected by jail authorities.”
“Similarly in other barracks where Shabir Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Raja Meraj-ud-Din Kalwal, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Zahoor Ahmad Watali, and Shahid Yousuf Shah, Muhammad Aslam Wani, Muzafar Ahmad Dar have been kept; water scarcity, lack of electricity in these hot months, lack of medicines and poor quality of food has made lives of inmates miserable.”
The jails of Kathua, Udhampur, Kot Bhalwal, Hiranagar, Srinagar central jail, and Amphala jail Jammu have been turned into “worst concentration camps” where inmates are “tortured, beaten, put in solitary confinements and humiliated” on daily basis.
Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik said that India being a signatory to the Geneva Convention on political prisoners has an obligation to respect the rights of prisoners. “But as in case of other human rights, India has trampled this right too and is crushing Kashmiri inmates ruthlessly,” they said.
“The international community, human rights organisations like Amnesty International, ICRC and UN Human Rights Commission need to take a strong note of these atrocities being committed upon Kashmiri prisoners and intervene to save the lines of these poor inmates. We will soon write letters to all these international bodies,” the JRL said.