HCBA Seeks Release Of Qayoom, Others

Kashmir Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom – File Pic

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court bar association (HCBA) on Wednesday demanded release of its President Mian Abdul Qayoom and other political prisoners lodged in various jails in the Union Territory and outside.

In a meeting held via teleconferencing today, Bar members said that since the jails in India are mostly overcrowded, the lives of inmates, particularly those suffering from diabetes, hypertension and other life-threatening diseases, is more susceptible to become victims of Covid-19, a statement issued by Bar today said.

The Bar members noticed that the Qayoom, who is in his advanced age surviving on a single kidney, suffering from multiple chronic ailments which include diabetes, hypertension, severe nerve damage, 60 percent blockage in one of the arteries of heart, resulting in his frail immune system, is more prone to become victim of deadly virus with minimal chances of his survival.

“The Bar Association was also provided with inputs by the family members of detainees, lodged in jails  outside Kashmir, that due to current lockdown family members are not in a position to have meeting with detainees who have reportedly fallen short of summer clothing and permissible amount of money for daily utilities, therefore in order to mitigate the sufferings of inmates it is being impressed upon administration, till a decision with regard to their release is taken, to facilitate such meeting of family members of detainees immediately and forthwith,” the statement added.

The Bar members also resolved to make a fervent appeal to the authorities that all these detenues/under-trial political prisoners including Mian Abdul Qayoom be released immediately and forthwith.

“It was also stated that as per jail manual the detainees could be classified as under-trial prisoners entitled to secure benefits of Supreme Court direction  per law the persons lodged under PSA are deemed to be under-trial prisoner, as they have been detained on mere apprehension. Therefore, there should be no excuse for the authorities for not releasing them,” Bar said.

“The members were unanimous in saying that in case any mishap in any jail on account of the Covid-19-19, same would be the sole responsibility of the concerned authorities,” the statement said.

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