On April 21, the family members of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik called a hurriedly conveyed presser informing about his deteriorating health condition. Malik is in National Investigation Agency’s custody.
Malik was arrested on February 22, and lodged at Police station Kothi-bagh, Srinagar, ahead of the parliamentary polls that were scheduled from April 11.
On March 7, he was slapped with the public safety act and was taken to Kot Balwal jail in Jammu. On April 9, he was shifted out of the state to Tihar jail in Delhi. Same day he was taken into NIA custody in a case related to the funding of separatists and militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, on April 22, Malik was presented before Special NIA court at Patiala house Delhi that sent him on judicial remand till May 24, 2019, and shifted him back to Tihar Jail, Delhi, after the court hearing.
Back at home, his family members told reporters that Malik is on hunger strike against the NIA bullying due to which his health has deteriorated further. Malik went on fast as a mark of protest against “the rampant arrests and harassment by the NIA.”
“We were not allowed to meet Malik in the past 10 days,” his sister told media reporters. “On Saturday, the lawyer came to know that Malik was seriously ill. He has been on a hunger strike since April 16 in protest against his illegal detention by the NIA. We fear for his life,” she added.
Soon after the news of his illness spread, all the shops and other business establishments were closed in Maisuma area of Lal Chowk as a mark of protest.
The family alleged that after many days when his health deteriorated, he was secretly shifted to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi by NIA. “He was kept in a dilapidated room, handcuffed wherein authorities tried to force him to break his fast but failed to do so.”
In the meantime a counsel of Yasin Malik advocate Sumit Koul approached the court to allow a meeting. Court ordered NIA to allow Yasin Malik’s meeting with his counsel and the said meeting was scheduled on 20th April 2019. Koul was allowed to meet him on 20th April and on the same evening a magistrate was brought to the hospital that remanded Yasin Sahib on judicial custody till 24th April and ordered NIA to shift him to Tihar Jail.
– Umar Mukhtar