Srinagar, March 14 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Gilani has expressed serious concern over the plight of Kashmiri detainees languishing in different jails, saying that their detention is being prolonged on one pretext or the other.

Syed Ali Gilani in a statement in Srinagar said, “Kashmiri detainees are not criminals but political prisoners who are being subjected to detention for their political convictions.”

He said that detaining pro-freedom leaders and activists was India’s admission that it had not been able to politically defeat the people’s struggle for freedom. “And keeping in view the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi-based National Investigation Agency (NIA) has no jurisdiction to arrest or detain anyone on flimsy grounds,” he said and added that shifting prisoners from Srinagar Central Jail to outside the Valley jails was neither justified nor legal. He deplored that the Kashmiri inmates are denied medical treatment and contact with their near and dear ones. He said the health condition of the Kashmiri detainees in Tihar and other jails is deteriorating.

The APHC Chairman termed Kathua Jail a torture chamber and demanded immediate shifting of all Kashmiri prisoners lodged in various outside jails to the Valley. He said both Indian judiciary and executive are hand in glove with each other to prolong detention of Kashmiri detainees. He said even when the prisoners lodged under the notorious Public Safety Act complete their term police and related agencies are ready with another dossier to prolong their detention under fictitious charges which is a punishment beyond prison time.

Syed Ali Gilani said Kashmiri prisoners are not criminals and the treatment meted out to them is violation of human rights charter. He urged the International Committee of Red Cross, Asia Watch, Amnesty International and other human rights organisations to come to the rescue of the Kashmiri prisoners by impressing upon India to treat them as per the charter laid by the international community.

Meanwhile, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference strongly condemned the arrest of Muhammad Ashraf Laya and continued detention of Umar Aadil Dar, presently lodged in Nowgam police station.

On the other hand, the Chairman of People’s Political Party, Engineer Hilal Ahmed War, who was released from Srinagar Central Jail on Tuesday said that imprisonment and other hardships were a part and parcel of any freedom movement and those fighting for such causes could not be defeated through such tactics.

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