Geelani demands shifting prisoners back to Valley


Srinagar, Mar 13: Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani on Tuesday expressed deep anguish over the plight of detainees languishing in different jails in and outside of the valley.
“Despite court orders they are not being released,” Geelani, in a statement, said.
He said those lodged in different jails are not criminals but political prisoners who are being subject to detention for their political convictions and outlook. Blaming authorities, Geelani said their detention is being prolonged on one pretext or the other.
Citing the treatment meted out to detainees arrested by NIA, Hurriyat (G) chairman alleged that on pretext or the other they are harassed, intimidated and subjected to political vendetta.
Challenging the role of NIA, Geelani said that detaining pro-freedom people, leaders and activists is the Government of India's admission that it has not been able to politically defeat the people's struggle for freedom in J&K.
“And keeping in view the disputed nature of the state, NIA has no role or jurisdiction to arrest or detain anyone on flimsy grounds,” he added.
Geelani said that political prisoners are ill-treated and humiliated for their affiliation with freedom struggle. While referring to recent episode wherein one detainee escaped from Srinagar Central jail, Geelani said that shifting prisoners to jails in far-flung areas is neither justified nor legal.
He said Kashmiri inmates are subjected to deprivation, 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 are denied.
While terming Kathua Jail a “torture chamber”, Geelani said Kashmiri inmates are deprived of human contact for months together. He said even clothing and other items brought by their families do not reach them.
Geelani demanded immediate shifting of all Kashmiri prisoners lodged in various outside jails to the valley. He said the health condition of Kashmiri detainees in Tihar Jail and other outside valley jails is deteriorating.
He expressed his anguish over human rights groups for their silence and asked ICRC, Asia Watch, Amnesty International and other Human Rights Organizations to come to the ‘rescue' of these detainees and impress India to treat detainees as per charter laid by the international community.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat (G) has strongly condemned the arrest of Mohammad Ashraf Laya and continuous detention of Umar Aadil Dar presently lodged in police station Nowgam.