The families of Kashmiri prisoners languishing in Delhi’s Tihar jail are worried over their safety as reports and pictures of thrashing of several inmates went viral on social media.
Even as chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, spoke to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and expressed concern over the “alleged harassment and manhandling of some Kashmiri inmates” in Tihar jail the families of these jail inmates are under “tremendous stress over their safety”.
“We have also come across some of the photographs of several injured inmates circulated on social media. The post read that some Kashmiri inmates were beaten in the jail. It is painful and intensifies our miseries,” said a wife of separatist leader lodged in Tihar jail.
The family members of Shahid Yousuf, son of Pakistan based united Jihad Council chief Syed Salahuddin, said Shahid was “abused and mercilessly thrashed by Tamil Nadu Force” at Tihar Jail. “We came to know about his actual position when he was brought to Patiala House Court. Our two relatives had met him there. His situation was bad. He was beaten to pulp. His advocate informed us that he was shocked to see his condition when he visited him in Tihar Jail,” said a Shahid’s family member.
He added that “ the information that we received was that some verbal brawl had erupted between two jail inmates but later the guards thrashed all the 18 inmates in jail number 1 along with Shahid.”
“But Shahid was beaten to pulp without any reason along with other inmates. Shahid has suffered injuries in his head and shoulder,” he said. “We are very much concerned about his safety in Tihar jail. We have filed a petition through Advocate Jawahar Raja in Delhi High Court that Yousuf should be shifted to Srinagar Central Jail,” he said. “ Shahid’s elder son Syed Mifta, who is nine-years old but physically challenged is more attached to his father. He is missing him. His education has also suffered as Shahid was teaching him at home only.”
Shahid’s family said that he was being punished for his father’s “political ideology” “otherwise he is a innocent person.”
Wife of separatist leader Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate, Assabah Khan said that his condition is weak after he was lodged at the prison. “I did meet him (Farooq) on November 21 when I was in Delhi. He has become terribly pale. By jail standards he is all fine, but he has turned pale and weak,” she said.
Khan said the political prisoners are denied facilities. “They are made to sleep on the floor. I took blankets and flooring for him. I am very much perturbed,” she told Rising Kashmir.
“My daughter keeps on crying muje papa ke paas le chaloo ( Take me to my father). He was allowed to call on Monday and Thursday for three minutes, but from last one week there is no communication,” she said.
Family members of another Hurriyat Leader Peer Saifullah said, “Saifullah is a tumor patient. He was already operated in Delhi. Now he is again ill. We are helpless. He has wife and a four-year-old son only at home. At times Saifullah’s father-in-law visits his family here in Srinagar to ensure their well being.”
A Delhi-based Kashmiri lawyer, Mujtaba Hussain, has filed a petition with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking detailed report about the rights of all Kashmiri “prisoners in Tihar jail.”
Hussain said the prisons in India have become “laboratories of torture”. “Under trial prisoners are entitled to different rights and facilities. The life of an offender cannot be jeopardized by illegal physical torture of jail Authorities. The jail authorities should change their attitude towards prisoners and protect their human rights,” he said.
Hussain said recently a Kashmiri prisoner, who was released after 12 years, narrated an ordeal. “He told me that they were forced to drink urine and eat human waste along with bread. The plight of Kashmiri prisoners languishing in Tihar and different jails of India is a concern. So we need to talk about the plight of Kashmiri prisoners,” he added.