Kathua jail has been turned into a ‘torture chamber’, alleges Geelani

Srinagar: Hurriyat (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani on Tuesday while expressing deep anguish over the plight of detainees languishing in different jails in and outside of the valley, said that the Kathua Jail has been turned into a ‘torture chamber’.

Lamenting at the jail authorities in Kathua, Geelani said that jail mates are assaulted, ill-treated and compelled to cook and serve food for criminals.He said that Kashmiri inmates are subjected to 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 are denied.”

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“Kathua Jail has become a ‘torture chamber’ and Kashmiri inmates are deprived of human contact for months together,” Geelani said in a statement and added that even clothing and other items brought by their families are denied to reach to jail inmates.

The statement further added that those lodged in different jails are not criminals but political prisoners who are being subject to detention for their political convictions and outlook. While blaming the authorities, Geelani added that their detentions are being prolonged on one pretext or the other.

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Citing the treatment meted out to detainees arrested by NIA, Geelani said that on one pretext or the other they are harassed, intimidated and subjected to political vendetta.

Challenging the role of NIA, Geelani said that detaining pro-freedom people, leaders and activists is the government of India’s admission that it has not been able to politically defeat the people’s struggle for freedom in J&K. And keeping in view the disputed nature of state, NIA has no role or jurisdiction to arrest or detain anyone on flimsy grounds.

Geelani demanded immediate shifting of all Kashmiri prisoners lodged in various outside jails the valley. He said the health condition of Kashmiri detainees in Tihar Jail and other outside valley jails is deteriorating.

“Both judiciary and executive are hand in glow and deliberately denying justice,” blamed Geelani. He said that even when the prisoners lodged under the notorious PSA complete their term, police and related agencies are ready with another dossier to prolong their detention mostly under fictitious charges.

“This amounts to punishment beyond prison time and is inhuman,” Geelani said.

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