SRINAGAR: After shifting over 40 prisoners to outside jails following escape of LeT commander Naveed Jhatt from police captivity in a hospital in Srinagar, the PDP-BJP coalition government has moved two prominent Kashmiri prisoners Ashiq Hussain Faktoo alias Dr Qasim and Prof Mohammad Shafi Khan alias Dr Shafi Shariati to Jammu jails from Central Jail, Srinagar.
The separatist leaders have called for shutdown in Kashmir on March 5 against shifting of prisoners to jails outside Kashmir.
Sources said Faktoo and Shariati, who were both lodged in central Jail Srinagar, were shifted to different jails in Jammu on Saturday.
They said Faktoo has been lodged in District Jail Udhampur while Shariati has been kept in sub jail Hiranagar in Kathua district.
Faktoo, who heads politico-religious organisation Muslim Deeni Mahaz (MDM), is husband of woman separatist leader Asiya Andrabi.
Faktoo, who has completed PhD in Islamic Studies in jail, has completed 25 years in jail. He was arrested in 1993 on charges of killing the human rights activist Hriday Nath Wanchoo.
Wanchoo was killed by gunmen in 1992 and Faktoo has continuously denied his involvement in the killing. However, Supreme Court held him guilty for Wanchoo’s murder and awarded him life imprisonment.
Shariati, who has done masters and PhD in Persian language and literature, has completed 15 years in jail.
He has compiled a biography in Urdu on hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani.
The authorities have already shifted over 40 militants, separatist leaders and youth booked for stone pelting from Valley jails to outside prisons after February 6 escape of LeT militant commander Naveed Jhatt alias Abu Hunzulla from police captivity in a Srinagar hospital. The two policemen guarding Naveed were killed by him and another militant, who had come to free him.
Reacting to shifting of two prominent prisoners and other detainees to Jammu jails, the separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have called for shutdown in Kashmir on March 7 (Wednesday) against shifting of prisoners to Jammu and “ill treatment” met out to them.
They said shifting of Faktoo and Shariati to Jammu prisons is a brazen violation of the orders of J&K High Court, which had stated that the duo can’t be shifted to any other place outside Srinagar.
“The government in violation of High Court orders shifted the duo from Central Jail to Jammu to appease their masters in New Delhi. Earlier, also many Kashmiri prisoners lodged in Central Jail, Srinagar were shifted to jails outside Kashmir”.
They said under the pretext of escape of one prisoner, endless miseries and hardships are being inflicted on hundreds of prisoners including shifting them to jails in Jammu.