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Delhi HC’s committee confirms torture of Kashmiris in Tihar

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Srinagar: Eighteen prisoners including Shahid Yousuf, son of Hizb chief Syed Salah-ud-din, were beaten by the prison staff “ruthlessly without any rhyme or reason” in Tihar jail, a committee of High Court Judicial Officer constituted by Delhi HC has confirmed, Kashmir’s lawyers body said on Tuesday.

In a statement issued here, Kashmir High Court Bar association said the committee has reported that the prisoners were beaten up with such severity that they feel that the jail authorities may kill them on one or the other pretext.

The lawyers’ body appreciated the concern shown by the Division Bench of Delhi High Court for describing the matter “very serious” requiring a “serious probe” and asking the Medical Superintendent, All India Medical Institute, to set up a Board for conducting the medical test of all the 18 prisoners, who were thrashed by the jail authorities including the Tamil Nadu Special Force, in high risk ward (C&F).

“Due to the beating the prisoners received serious injuries and to give their report to the fact-finding committee and also preserve the CCTV footage of the incident,” the Bar Association said and requested the International Human Rights Organizations and other agencies including International Red Cross, to visit Tihar Jail and see for themselves as to how the jail authorities are ill-treating the Kashmiri prisoners. Besides, the lawyers’ body said that the prisoners are asked to sleep on the floor, not provided with any medical assistance, which is a flagrant violation of the jail rules and regulations.

The Bar Association also condemns the “failure” of the State government to provide free medical treatment to Zahid Manzoor, who was targeted from a short range by the government forces and was sprayed with pellets over his back when he was returning home from his examination centre. “The P/S Safakadal has no doubt registered an FIR in the matter, but no one has been arrested so far, for committing the gruesome act, leaving the injured Zahid Manzoor who has been operated upon in SMHS Hospital Srinagar and is battling for his life.”

The Bar Association also condemns the firing of pellets by the forces at Hajin on the civilian population, who were protesting against the continued Cordon and Search Operation in the area, “due to which two women sustained pellet injuries and were rushed to the hospital for treatment”.

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