COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025 Contact: [email protected]
The Conditions of Prisons in the region of Jammu are Abysmal and Inhuman especially for Kashmiri Muslim Prisoners!
The CRPP strongly condemns the murderous assault on Masarat Alam and Mushtaq ul Islam in the prison in Udhampur. Such acts of brutality by jail authorities on political prisoners who have been put behind bars for their uncompromising political views is an age old strategy that was adopted by the British colonialists on the freedom fighters of the Indian subcontinent. Today the same strategy is being implemented much more brutally by India on Kashmiri Muslims who have been put behind bars for their political aspirations of Azadi! These kinds of brutalities and specific targeting of the political prisoners should be condemned by every freedom loving citizen of the subcontinent.
It should be noted that India is also a signatory of the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights which recognises the rights and status of the political prisoner. But when it comes to dealing with political prisoners India has a track record of being the worst lawless state. The living experiences of Kashmiri Muslims who have been specifically targeted through various draconian laws and lodged in different prisons in the subcontinent let alone undisclosed torture centres in Jammu & Kashmir bear testimony to these acts of impunity of the Indian state.
Today in the Indian subcontinent and especially in Jammu & Kashmir, prisons have become torture centres where the undertrials detained under the notorious PSA, AFSPA, or UAPA have become easy targets of brutalisation. The jails in the region of Jammu have attained the notoriety of being torture centres as is termed by many of the relatives of the political prisoners of the region. The assault on Masarat Alam and Mushtaq is a grim reminder of the continuing policy of brutalisation of the prisoners in the jails of Jammu. It should be noted that the Srinagar Bar Association and the various people’s leaders of Jammu & Kashmir have time again pointed out this brutal treatment of the prisoners in the jails of Jammu. The prison conditions in the jails of Jammu are the worst.
The prisoners are paraded naked, beaten to pulp, made to do things which are against their religious beliefs. Further they are provided with insufficient food and are made to eat in the lawns in the scorching sun at a time in Jammu when the temperatures were around 45 degrees. These reports were abuzz in the Srinagar press since July 2012. It should be noted that the Indian state is violating its own law when it is shifting a political prisoner from the prison nearer to his/her residence. Most of the political prisoners in the jails of Jammu are from the Kashmir valley and have been shifted to the region under the pretext of overcrowding of the prisons in the latter. Notwithstanding the fact that it violates the Jail Manual, an undertrial or detainee is made to cut grass, clean toilets and utensils. There have been orders from the courts for various committees appointed since 1994 to visit the prisons and take stock of the situation by talking to the inmates. But seldom are there any such visits or reports. There is hardly any media attention on such acts of impunity of the Indian state in Jammu & Kashmir except the regular negative profiling of Kashmiri Muslims. Only the relentless vigilant protests of the people of Jammu & Kashmir have ensured that the media and the powers that be forced to take up the issue.
CRPP would call upon all democratic and freedom loving sections in the subcontinent to unitedly condemn and expose this total disregard of the Indian state for the genuine democratic aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir and thereby the permanent reign of the terror of impunity enforced on their everyday life. We unequivocally demand that the Indian government release unconditionally all such people incarcerated for their political beliefs in the valley as well as other jails in the Jammu region immediately. We also demand that such people be granted the status of political prisoner pending their release and put an end to the reign of terror through the draconian instruments of PSA, UAPA and AFSPA which have made the state impervious to all kinds of civility, propriety and respect for the life of the common people in Jammu & Kashmir. All such officials who indulge in and abet the torture and mistreatment of the political prisoners in Jammu & Kashmir should be immediately brought to book!
Secretary, Public Relations
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