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Kashmir separatists move rights panel over ‘plights of political inmates’ in Tihar, Kathua jails

Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have written a letter jointly for the first time.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2017 20:08 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Kashmir separatists,Tihar jails,Kathua jails
A combination photo of Kashmiri separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. (Agencies)

Kashmir separatist leaders, in an unusual move, have approached State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) over the “sufferings of Kashmiri political prisoners” in two prominent jails, including Tihar.

Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, in a signed letter, have written to SHRC chairman bringing to his notice the “plight” of political inmates in Tihar and Kathua jails.

“Deprivation of rights of Kashmiri prisoners in Indian jails goes against prisoners’ rights. Imprisoning Kashmiri does not mean that they should be treated as animals,” the letter says.

Written for the first time by the top three Kashmir separatists jointly, the letter has alleged that Kashmiri inmates are subjected to “inhuman deprivation” in Tihar.

“Medical treatment, for those who require it, is lacking. The inmates are deprived of contact with their near and dear ones and also other basic needs,” the trio has written.

They have also claimed that Kathua jail has become a “torture chamber” where “Kashmiri inmates are deprived of human contact for many months”.

The separatist leaders have alleged that a large number of undertrials are cramped in unhygienic conditions. “Medication provided to them is substandard. The inmates also have to seek permission from jail authorities even in health matters. Food provided is of bad quality and is provided during odd hours,” they have written.

The letter also states that Kashmiri inmates are “kept with hardened criminals in cramped prisons which poses life threat” to them. “Their movement is restricted and water is also not in their cells. Inmates with health issues are not given required treatment,” the trio claimed.

The separatists have requested the SHRC to look into these grave violations and have sought instructions to “restore the dignity” of Kashmir’s political prisoners.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 20:07 IST