When Tihar Assault puts Geelani, Mufti on The Same Page

Bilal Handoo

SRINAGAR

Syed Ali Geelani       File Photo
Syed Ali Geelani File Photo
Mufti Muhammad Sayeed
Mufti Muhammad Sayeed

A recent assault on Kashmiri detainees inside New Delhi’s Tihar Jail has put Syed Ali Geelani on the same page with PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. Though politically apart, but there appears to have a common thread between them: both wants homecoming of incarcerated Kashmiris.

At the time when Mufti is mulling to shift all Kashmiri detainees lodged in different Indian jails to Kashmir, Geelani has again demanded the same and thus made certain quarters to react: “On this issue, at least, they are on the same page!”

Reactions started pouring in after the Kashmiri detainees inside New Delhi’s Tihar Jail were attacked by criminals on March 28 this year. The jail administration, as per the relatives of detainees, instigated the attack, which has left many injured. Among the injured are Farooq Ahmad Dagga, Mohammad Shafi Bandey, Waseem Ahmad and others.

While strongly denouncing the attack, Geelani said the persecution of Kashmiri prisoners has become a routine. “The international community must treat the perpetrators as war criminal,” he said.

Geelani named 32 Kashmiri prisoners including Dr Ghulam Mohammad Butt, Mohammad Rafiq Shah, Tariq Ahmad Dar, Javaid Ahmad Fazili and Mahmood Topiwala detained in Tihar jail, “who were very often subjected to custodial torture”.

“Most of the prisoners from Jammu and Kashmir locked up in various jails of India have been implicated in false cases,” said Supreme Court lawyer Prof Bhim Singh, “and majority of them are under-trials.” Singh said most are shut in narrow and dark cells.

Jammu and Kashmir youth have been put in Varanasi, Ahmedabad, Naini, Mumbai, Allahabad, Madhya Pradesh, Rajhastan, Vadodara, Bangalore, Jaipur, Lucknow and other jails.

There are 25 Kashmiri youth lodged in Mumbai jail, 15 youth from Rajouri are in Naini jail, 12 more Kashmiris are in Gujarat jails and so on, Singh informed: “It is irony that those prisoners who have completed their term are not being deported while section 436(A) of the Indian Penal Code reads: ‘Any prisoners who complete his term should be released without any delay.’ ”

But in between Geelani’s demand and Mufti’s vow, families still await shifting of over “300 Kashmiris”—mostly youth, languishing in different jails outside the state.

Families of these convicted persons blame Delhi Police for “implicating” their dear ones in false cases. Rainawari’s Baba family is one such family, who has been waiting for their beloved to get shifted from Vadodara, Gujarat, to Srinagar for past five years.

“On March 14, 2010, Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested Bashir Baba despite Jammu and Kashmir Police giving him clean chit and asking Gujarat Police to release him,” said Nazir, his brother. “Gujarat Police knows Bashir is innocent, but still…”

Similarly, from south Kashmir’s Dooru, Ghulam Qadir Bhat, 60, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court on the charges of “hatching a conspiracy to eliminate high profile personalities”.

His daughter Mubeena has been fighting a lonely battle for the past 10 years to get her father released from Tihar Jail, but of no avail.

And then there is Latif Ahmed Waza, a resident of Khankah Srinagar, who has been languishing for 19 years in Jaipur jail.

But then jails across J&K, said Hurriyat (G) spokesperson Ayaz Akbar, are packed with least 500 political prisoners.

In the face of these ‘grim’ figures, many believe: “It will be great service from Mufti Muhammad Sayeed to society if he succeeds in his endeavour to bring back all the Kashmir prisoners.”

But as the initiative is still hanging in balance, Geelani has started sniffing something “scandalous”. He might be on the same page, but he has already castigated Mufti for “backtracking” from his commitment to shift the Kashmiri detainees to the jails in the Kashmir.

On other side, Mufti, like always, is taking his time to break the ice. Amid this delay, speculations are rife: Are we back to the Hamlet situation here—to be, or not to be, that is the only question, Mr CM!

1 COMMENT

  1. It was expected. Now Indian Muslims will be having one Plate form against the Saffron Parivar. No peace will be in India except Nuclear war with Pakistan and backing the ISIS terrorists against India Now Muslim Youths with ISIS having sleeper cells in each city of India?

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