Srinagar: The J&K High Court Bar Association, Srinagar on Friday said its team visited central jail Srinagar to meet the detainees and under-trial prisoners in wake of recent incident.
According to the statement issued here, a team visited the central jail Srinagar on April 11. “After meeting the Superintendent Central Jail, Srinagar, Mukesh Kumar, Additional S.P. an officer from J&K Police (Gazetted) Service, who has been posted as Superintendent, Central Jail Srinagar, in the month of February, 2018, after the suspension of Hilal Ahmad Rather, for the charges of escape of a prisoner from SMHS Hospital, Srinagar, the Superintendent narrated the sequence of events, which had led to the happening of 1st of April, 2019,” it said.
The Bar members found that after the incident, there has been a communication breakdown between the inmates and the jail administration. “For the last ten days, the inmates are not meeting any of the visitors or relatives. The inmates are also not being provided any newspaper or access to any media like TV or Radio. They had also refused to come out and meet some lawyers,” they said.
“The Jail Superintendent showed his sympathy for the inmates and initially expressed his inability to arrange a meeting between the Bar members and the inmates. It was however with great difficulty and a long wait that the Bar members finally succeeded in their efforts to interact with the inmates, in a barrack constructed for the conduct of interviews of the inmates with their family members. This is a long corridor partitioned by thick wiremesh, where during the course of interview, the inmates have to remain standing all the time and the interviewer has to sit on a wooden tool,” the statement said.
“After having an interaction with the inmates, the Bar team found that the inmates feel that a conspiracy has been hatched against them and the State has adopted a hostile attitude towards them for their political ideology and thought. They feel that they will not be allowed any opportunity of proving their innocence before any enquiry officer which may be ordered in the matter or in the court of law. They feel that they may be shifted to some jail outside the State so as to prolong their trial and detention in jail. They have demanded that the whole incident should be got enquired into by the High Court and the enquiry should be supervised by a sitting judge of the court,” it said.
The statement further said: They (inmates) also demanded that the FIR registered against them by the jail authorities being an attempt to victimize them should not be allowed to be investigated until the enquiry is got completed by the High Court. They also want that they should be allowed to file a counter FIR and the members of International Red Cross ICRC, SHRC, IHRC, Amnesty International and Asia Watch, be allowed to visit the jail at the earliest, so that the evidence which is available on spot is not destroyed or damaged by the jail authorities. They stated that if their demands are not met some of them are ready to commit suicide inside the jail, the responsibility of which shall be solely on the jail authorities.
The Bar members have decided to submit their report before the Court of CJM, Srinagar on Saturday as directed by the Ld. CJM, Srinagar, in terms of his order dated 11.04.2019 for an appropriate action which may be warranted by law.