SRINAGAR: In a first, separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, who term Kashmir as a “disputed territory” and call for its resolution as per UN resolutions, have moved J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) over the plight of the Kashmiri political prisoners in two jails -- Kathua jail in J&K and Tihar Jail in national capital.
Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik moved a joint application before the J&K SHRC chairman Justice (Retd) Bilal Nazki on plight of Kashmiri political prisoners in jails.
It is for the first time that three top separatist Kashmiri leaders have jointly moved the SHRC.
“The Kashmiri prisoners in Tihar jail are subjected to inhuman of deprivation. They are denied medical treatment and other basic facilities in jails . Besides, they are deprived of contact with their near and dear ones,” the separatist leaders said.
Many Kashmiri prisoners including senior separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah are undergoing imprisonment in Tihar Jail. Shah was arrested by ED in a decade old hawal case.
The separatist leaders, who spearheaded over five month long unrest in Valley last year following killing of 21-year-old Hizb commander Burhan Wani, in their communiqué to SHRC chairman alleged that Kathua jail has become a torture chamber, where Kashmiri prisoners are deprived of every facility including contact with family members.
“This amounts to punishment beyond prison time and is inhuman,” they said.
The leaders alleged that large numbers of under trails in Kathua jail are cramped in unhygienic conditions and sub standard medication is provided to them.
“The food provided to prisoners is of bad quality and the Kashmiri prisoners are kept with hardened criminals, which pose threat to their lives. Their movement is restricted and water is not available in their cells,” they said.
According to the separatist leaders, imprisonment of Kashmiris doesn’t mean that they should be treated like animals.
The basic dignity and welfare of prisoners should be respected and their basic humanity be not undermined by draconian measures, they said.
The separatist leaders urged the SHRC chairman to look into these “grave human right violations” saying going against the ethos of human and prisoners’ rights undermines the very nature of their rights.
They also urged the SHRC chairman to issue instructions to restore dignity of Kashmiri political prisoners.