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Geelani demands shifting of Kashmiri prisoners to Valley

"Those lodged in differ­ent jails are not criminals but political prisoners who are being subject to detention for their po­litical convictions and outlook."

Srinagar—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 issued to media 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.

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