In occupied Kashmir, the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) has urged the authorities to immediately release all the Kashmiri detainees including its ailing president Mian Abdul Qayoom lodged in and outside the territory in the wake of the coronovirus outbreak.
The High Court Bar Association (HCBA) raised the demand during a meeting of its executive members held in Srinagar today through teleconferencing. The meeting reminded the authorities of the directions issued by the Indian Supreme Court, directing the authorities of all Indian states and occupied Kashmir to set up high-powered committees to consider the release of prisoners who have been convicted or are under trial for offences for which prescribed punishment is up to seven years or less in order to decongest prisons in view of COVID-19 pandemic.
The HCBA members said that since the jails throughout India are mostly overcrowded, therefore, there is a potential threat to the lives of inmates, particularly those suffering from life-threatening diseases, who have been found more susceptible to become victims of COVID-19. They noted that the HCBA President, Mian Abdul Qayoom, who is presently lodged in Delhi’s notorious Tihar Jail, is in his advanced age suffering from multiple serious diseases, resulting in his frail immune system. They added that owing to his chronic ailments including diabetes, hypertension and blockage in one of the heart arteries as well as surviving on a single kidney, Mian Qayoon is more prone to become victim of deadly virus with minimal chances of his survival.
The members maintained that at the time when the whole world is united to counter the deadly virus by maintaining social distance, it would be very prudent and appropriate for the authorities to release Mian Abdul Qayoom and other Kashmiri detainees from their respective jails, either permanently or on parole, in order to save them from contracting the deadly virus.