LUCKNOW/CHANDIGARH: Over 530 prisoners lodged in different jails of Jammu and Kashmir, including Srinagar and Baramulla, have been shifted to jails of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana for security reasons following the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.
While many of the prisoners, booked under Public Safety Act in J&K and reportedly linked to hardline Hurriyat leader Sayeed Shah Jilani, have been brought to UP, some of them including National conference leader and former minister Ali Mohammad Sagar, a number of lawyers and some high profile terror suspects have also been shifted from J&K to UP jails.
While 56 prisoners from J&K have been kept in Agra jail, 30 have been brought to Varanasi, 20 have been lodged in Bareilly jail and a batch of 24 has been lodged in Lucknow jail.
The group of prisoners shifted to Lucknow is mainly from separatist groups — those arrested for violence, stone-pelting and those with a track record of trouble-making resulting in a breach of peace.
Each prisoner brought to UP from various jails of J-K has been kept in a separate high-security cell.
“For the first time some 400 prisoners from different jails in Kashmir are being shifted to four Jails in Haryana and some other have been shifted to the Karnal jail,’’ Haryana Jails Minister Krishan Lal Panwar told this newspaper.
“They will be kept different from the other prisoners in the jails and the security of these jails will be increased as more police personnel and also para-military force will be deployed,’’ he said.
Sources in the jails department said that 200 prisoners will be lodged in Faridabad Jail and 80 in Karnal Jail.
While in Yamunanagar Jail around 50 inmates from the Valley will be kept and in Jhajjar Jail, 70 prisoners will be housed. The latter already has a few Kashmiri prisoners incarcerated.