Release political prisoners to show sincerity, Mirwaiz on amnesty to first time stone pelters

Srinagar

The Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to withdraw cases against the first-time stone pelters has received a cold shoulder from Hurriyat Conference as it asks the government to release all political prisoners to show its “sincerity”.

“The step ( government’s announcement to withdraw FIR’s against first time stone pelters) appears cosmetic effort. If government is serious and sincere and there is really a change of heart and approach then all political prisoners should be immediately released”, Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umer Farooq told a Friday congregation at historic Jamia Masjid in interior Srinagar today.

Mirwaiz ,in his address before the Friday prayers were offered, said draconian laws like “AFSPA (Armed forces special powers Act) and PSA (Public Safety Act)” should be revoked and freedom of prisoners be restored if government is serious and sincere.

The government issued a formal order last evening making its intention clear that all those youths against whom only one case of stone pelting is registered will be set free to create a congenial atmosphere in the valley.

Mirwaiz devoted a major part of his speech towards the plight of prisoners and said thousands of Kashmiris are languishing in jails across India for their political ideology and beliefs. “They are subjected to ill-treatment as a state policy of inflicting punishment upon them for their dissenting political views,”, he said.

“The draconian (PSA is invoked against them on flimsy and baseless grounds at the will and whims of the authorities as and when they desire in order to keep them continuously in jails”, mirwaiz observed amdist chants of “ shame, shame” from the audience.

He alleged the prisoners are lodged with criminals and even basic facilities as per the jail manual including medical facilities were denied to them.

“If those in power are serious and sincere and there is really a change of heart and approach then all political prisoners should be immediately released from jails and their freedom restored and all draconian laws such as AFSPA, PSA withdrawn forthwith,” Mirwaiz. Said. (Kashmir Wire)

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