Show Sincerity, Set Free Political Prisoners: Mirwaiz To Govt

Srinagar: Reacting to the Jammu and Kashmir government move to release ‘first-time stone-pelters’, Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday said the step looked “cosmetic”.

He called the government to release all political prisoners to show its “sincerity”.

Addressing a gathering at the historic Jamia Masjid, the Mirwaiz said while some kind of announcement regarding withdrawing of FIRs against so called “first time stone-pelters” has been made by the government.

He said the step looks “more as a cosmetic effort” on the part of the ruling regime that has been “extremely repressive and anti-people.”

He said thousands of Kashmiris are languishing in jails across India for their political ideology and beliefs. “They are subjected to ill-treatment as a state policy of inflicting punishment upon them for their dissenting political views,” said the Mirwaiz.

 “The draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) is invoked against them on flimsy and baseless grounds at the will and whims of the authorities as and when they desire in order to keep them continuously in lockup.”

He alleged the prisoners are lodged with criminals and even basic facilities as per the jail manual including medical facilities were denied to them.

“If those in power are serious and sincere and there is really a change of heart and approach then all political prisoners should be immediately released from jails and their freedom restored and all draconian laws such as AFSPA, PSA etc. withdrawn forthwith,” said the Mirwaiz.

Meanwhile, shortly after the culmination of Friday congregational prayers, scores of protesters assembled in Maisuma locality of Srinagar city.

Carrying placards and banners, the protesters alleged that Kashmiri political prisoners are being harassed inside jails. They expressed concern over the plight of prisoners particularly about those languishing in Tihar Jail.

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