Central Jail Inmates: We’re Punished Without Logic

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Srinagar—The dramatic escape of LeT’s Mohammed Naveed Jhatt from SMHS hospital last month was security lapse and inmates cannot be held guilty or punished under law, the prisoners at Central Jail Srinagar told a visitin team of lawyers from Kashmir High Court Bar Association.

Pursuant to the orders of the High Court, a three-member team of lawyers comprising Mushtaq Ahmad Dar (Vice President), G. N. Shaheen (General Secretary) and Sameer Ahmad Wani (Treasurer), visited Central Jail, Srinagar and sought legal interview with the inmates of the Central Jail.

The team also talked to the Jail authorities, about various issues relating to the inmates of the jail, a statement of the lawyers body said, a day after the team visited the jail in centre of focus after Jatt escaped.

The interview with the inmates was held in the office of Superintendent, Central Jail Srinagar in his presence.

The inmates narrated various problems faced by them in the jail. “The inmates stated that they are fully cooperating with the jail authorities in maintaining discipline as per the rules contained in Jail Manual as well as the Prisoners Act. The conduct of the inmates has been quite disciplined in the jail and there is not a single compliant about indiscipline against any inmate, whether an undertrial prisoner, a convict or detainee under preventive laws, but the fact of the matter is that more than 17 prisoners and undertrials have been illegally shifted from Central Jail Srinagar by the State Authorities and lodged in the jails located outside the Kashmir Valley in contravention to the rules and in violation of the court orders,” the lawyers body said.

“The authorities are violating the rule of law themselves. The prisoners told they are arrested according to law, lodged in jails according to law and court orders but the State authorities have shifted dozens of inmates to other jails in violation of law, which is matter of concern and surprise to all of us.”

It has created a feeling among the inmates that they are punished by shifting outside Central Jail Srinagar without any reason or logic, the Bar said.

“The inmates told the team members, that there is no hand of any inmate in escape of Naveed Jatt, who has infact escaped from SMHS Hospital Srinagar which is 6 kms away from Central Jail Srinagar nor there is any allegation against any inmate of the jail in his escape. His escape is a security lapse outside the jail, for which the inmates cannot be held guilty or punished under law”.

The Bar Association assured the inmates that all their concerns related to jail would be taken up with the appropriate authorities and all the judicial remedies available under law, will be invoked in the larger interests of the inmates.

 

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