COVID-19: Court seeks response from Tihar jail on separatist leader Shabir Shah’s plea

New Delhi: A Delhi Court Monday sought response from Tihar jail authority on a plea of Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah, arrested in two separate cases of alleged militancy financing, seeking a separate cell in Tihar central jail in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

Special Judge Dharmendra Rana issued notice to the jail superintendent with a direction to file the reply by July 1.

In an application, Shah’s advocate Qausar Khan submitted that the accused was suffering from various ailments, including heart disease, and that his immunity was very low that makes him prone to COVID-19.

She said the separatist leader has sought direction that he be provided proper treatment and a separate cell in the jail.

Looking at the recent occurrences of COVID-19 in the central jail and the health condition of the accused, his life would be in danger if he comes in contact with the virus. Therefore, direct the jail authorities to put him in a separate cell, the advocate said.

She told the court that the jail manual has a provision to provide temporary accommodation in case of an epidemic.

The application was filed after Shah conveyed about the same through his wife to the lawyer.

In two cases, the first was registered in 2007 for the alleged money laundering committed in 2005 for the purpose of terror financing.

Shah was arrested by ED on July 25, 2017 in connection with the August 2005 case in which the Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested an alleged hawala dealer Mohammad Aslam Wani.

ED claimed that Rs 63 lakh was recovered from Wani, out of which Rs 52 lakh was allegedly to be delivered to Shah, adding that money was received from “enemy countries” like Pakistan to promote militancy in India.

Wani was also arrested in the case but later got bail.

In the second case, the NIA took Shah in it’s custody in June 2019 in connection with its probe into a separate terror funding case involving Jama’at-ud-Da’wah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of 2008 Mumbai militant attack.

Shah is currently in judicial custody in both the cases.

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