Srinagar: Imprisoning Kashmiris does not mean that they should be treated as animals, Joint Resistance leadership of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said on Friday as they moved the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) over the plight of the “political” prisoners from J&K in two prisons including Tihar Jail.
In a first move of its kind, they said a large numbers of under trials are cramped in unhygienic conditions in the jails.
“This is to bring to your kind attention the suffering and plight of Kashmiri political inmates languishing in the Tihar and Kathua jails,” the JRL said in an application to the SHRC.
“In the former (Tihar), the Kashmiri inmates are subjected to inhuman 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,” they said
They alleged that the Kathua jail has become a “torture chamber” where Kashmiri inmates are deprived of human contact for many months. “This amounts to punishment beyond prison time and is inhuman,” they said.
The leaders said there are large numbers of under trials who are cramped in unhygienic conditions. “Medication provided to them is sub standard. The inmates also have to seek permission from jail authorities even in health matters. Food provided is of bad quality and it is provided during odd hours. Kashmiri inmates are kept with hardened criminals in cramped prisons which poses life threat to them. Their movement is restricted and water is also not in their cells. Inmates with health issues are not given required treatment.”
They said deprivation of rights to Kashmiri prisoners in Indian jails goes against prisoners rights. “Imprisoning Kashmiri does not mean that they should be treated as animals. The basic dignity and welfare of prisoners is sought to be crushed and their basic humanity attempted to be undermined by draconian measures. Going against the ethos of human and prisoners rights undermines the very nature of these rights,” they said and urged the SHRC to “look into these grave violations and issue instructions to restore dignity of Kashmiri political prisoners.”