‘Political prisoners kept with hardcore criminals’

Srinagar, March 06 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, lack of proper food, medical care, imprisonment of political prisoners with hardcore criminals, shortage of space, delay in trials and hurdles in inmates’ meetings with their family members have been highlighted as some points in a report released by Kashmir Bar Association on the appalling condition in the jails of the territory.

On the directions of High Court of the territory, several teams constituted by the Bar Association visited different jails and prepared the report.

After interacting with inmates in Udhampur district jail, a report compiled by a four-member team said, there are no proper medical facilities available to the inmates. Besides, there is also no qualified doctor in the jail. “The escort is not provided to the prisoners for taking them to the courts and resultantly their trial is getting delayed without any fault of theirs,” the report said.

In its report a team of the Bar Association after interacting with thirty one inmates in Heera Nagar jail, Jammu, said the prison is not spacious enough to accommodate the prisoners. The barracks, the report said, have been converted into cells and the political detenues have been kept with the hardcore criminals. The report divulges that the “prisoners are not provided proper food and medicine”.

It said the “unhygienic food prepared by the jail authorities of their own choice is being provided to all the detenues and under-trial prisoners, which has caused serious ailments to all of them”. According to the report, a detenue, Fayaz Ahmad, has continuous pain in his legs and in case he is not treated properly there is every possibility of his leg being amputated.

After interacting with eleven detainees in Amphalla jail in Jammu, a team of the Bar reported that the inmates were not being provided proper medical treatment by the jail authorities. “One of the inmates namely Seeratul Hassan, who was suffering from pancreatic infection stated before the team members that he was shifted from Jammu’s Heera Nagar Jail to Amphalla Jail, and he complained that he was facing a serious ailment and be shifted to Jammu hospital for treatment but he was not shifted to the hospital,” the report said.

The report divulges that the under-trial inmates in different courts in Kashmir are not produced before courts. As a result, the team said, the trial of their cases is prolonging and their right to get speedy trial stands defeated.

After meeting ten under-trial prisoners lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, a Bar team found that they were not being produced before the courts on the dates of hearing. “The Kashmiri prisoners lodged in Tihar Jail are being kept in high security wards and they are not given the same treatment which is being given to other prisoners lodged in other barracks of Tihar Jail,” the Bar report said.

The inmates, the report said, complained that they were not allowed to take any food item brought by their family members inside the jail.

The report maintained that despite High Court directions, the team faced a lot of difficulty in obtaining permission from the jail authorities to meet the detenues and under-trial prisoners of Kashmir lodged in Tihar Jail.


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