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Tihar Jail report visited by High Court Bar Members on 30th and 31st of July, 2019

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Tihar Jail report visited by High Court Bar Members on 30th and 31st of July, 2019
In pursuance of the orders of the Hon’ble High Court, in case titled J&K High Court Bar Association versus State of J&K and others, a Four Member Team of J&K High Court Bar Association, Srinagar comprised of;
1. Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, Advocate, General Secretary.
2. Bilal Ahmad Wani, Treasurer;
3. Bashir Sidiq, Advocate, Executive Member;
4. Bilal Ahmad Bhat, Executive Member.
visited Central Jail Tihar on 30th and 31st of July, 2019.
The members met the inmates of the jail and tried to ascertain from them as to what kind of facilities of food, clothing, medical aid, hygiene, sanitation and legal aid etc. was available to these inmates.
The Tihar Jail is the largest prison complex in Asia. The prison complex has nine jails, each located at a distance of ½ km from each other, apart from a District Jail at Rohini which was, commissioned in 2004.
There are more than 40 prisoners belonging to J&K State who are languishing in different jails of Tihar from years together. In order to meet these prisoners, the Bar Members had to first of all, seek permission from Director General of Prison’s office. The Bar members were told to meet the Law Officer. The Bar team accordingly met Incharge, Legal Cell, Central Jail Tihar. He was very cordial and got the court order implemented in letter and spirit by facilitating the interaction of the team members with the Kashmiri prisoners lodged in Tihar Jail.
The team first of all went to Jail No. 7, where Mohammad Yassin Malik, Chairman, JKLF, is lodged. The moment Mohammad Yassin Malik was called in a meeting room, he was made to sit on a stool and while interacting with Mohammad Yasin Malik, the team members were told that he had been kept in solitary confinement. He also informed the team that there are 35 Cells, barring a cell in which he is lodged, rest of the cells are empty and that the said cell is with the dimension of 5×7 feet. The ceiling fan is installed at a height of about 12 feet and the same is not giving any relief from the scorching heat. Inside the cell, there is a stinky small open bathroom which has to be used both for latrine and bath purposes. He also stated that bright light is kept on for 24 hours, due to which he is not able to sleep properly. He also informed that he has not been provided a Mattress and has to sleep on a mat (Chattai), due to which he has developed a disc problem and most of the time, he has unbearable pain. He also informed that he has developed infection in his ear, which has also affected his hearing power. He has developed depression by remaining in solitary confinement. He was also taken to a physiatrist, who prescribed medication but he refused to take the same and instead informed the doctor that he has developed the said ailment due to his remaining in solitary confinement. Mr. Malik also informed the team that the said matter was also brought to the notice of the Hon’ble Court, but the prosecution informed that the Court that there are other inmates lodged with him, which according to Mr. Malik is not true and correct. He also informed the team that recently his nephew who had come to meet him, was not allowed to interact with him, as the jail authorities said that only blood relations can meet the inmate. Mr. Malik through the medium of this report wants the Hon’ble Court to take note of his pathetic condition and pass necessary orders with regard to his solitary confinement and health issues.
The team members also met Asiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen, Fahmeeda Sofi. They are lodged in Jail No. 6. While interacting with them, they stated that they are lodged in the cells which is 24×7 locked, which amounts to jail inside the jail. However, they stated that they are being provided medical treatment but they are being victimised only because of their political belief. Asiya Andrabi also stated that her other two colleagues are suffering from various ailments. They stated that they are being kept 24×7 in lockups in High Risk security wards.
The team members went to Jail No. 8, where they met Masrat Alam, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Zahoor Ahmad Watali, Peer Saifullah and Altaf Ahmad Shah. While interacting with the team, they stated that they have been kept with criminals, proper medical treatment is not being provided to them, substandard drugs are being provided and further they are being kept 24×7 in lockups in High Risk security wards and ceiling fans are installed above 12 feet. Peer Saifullah informed the team that he had been operated for brain-tumour for which he needs regular medical check-up and follow up. He has not been properly treated and his health condition is deteriorating day by day. They also stated that are not getting proper legal aid and assistance and stated that they need an experienced lawyer based in Delhi, who will be able to defend their case against a senior lawyer Mr. Luthra (criminal expert), engaged by NIA. They stated that they have been kept with criminals, proper medical treatment is not being provided to them, substandard drugs are being provided and further are being kept 24×7 in lockups in High Risk security wards and ceiling fans are installed above 12 feet.
The team members thereafter went to Jail No. 4 where they met Shabir Ahmad Shah, G. M. Bhat, Shakeel Ahmad Shah, Muzaffar Ahmad Dar, Feroz Ahmad (Tral). They also complained that they are not being defended by experienced lawyers. They stated that they have been kept with well-known criminals, proper medical treatment is not being provided to them, substandard drugs are being provided and further are being kept 24×7 in lockups in High Risk security wards and ceiling fans are installed above 12 feet high.
The team members thereafter went to Jail No. 3 where they met Ayaz Akbar, Shahid-ul-Islam, Shahid Yousuf and Parvez Ahmad. They also complained that they are not being defended by experienced lawyers. They stated that they have been kept with well-known criminals, proper medical treatment is not being provided to them, substandard drugs are being provided and further are being kept 24×7 in lockups in High Risk security wards and ceiling fans are installed above 12 feet when temperature goes upto 49c.
The team members thereafter went to Jail No. 1 where they met Mehraj-ud-din Kalwal and Talib Lali. They stated that they have been kept with criminals, proper medical treatment is not being provided to them, substandard drugs are being provided and further are being kept 24×7 in lockups in High Risk security wards and ceiling fans are installed above 12 feet when temperature goes upto 49c. Talib Lali has been shifted to Tihar Jail in 2013. Chargesheet has been filed in 2013 but till date no charge has been framed.
The inmates in one voice, told the Bar team that they become vulnerable whenever any incident takes place in Kashmir valley.
After interacting with the inmates, the team members have come to the conclusion that the prisoners of J&K lodged in Tihar Jail suffer from a feeling of deprivation and helplessness. Being away from their home place, they are unable to have frequent interaction with their family members. They are only allowed to have a interview with blood relations and no other relative or friend is allowed to meet the inmates. They are not also receiving proper medical care. They feel that they can be picked up anytime for any kind of treatment as the courts are more sympathetic towards the prosecution than the accused. They also say that in other states where the NIA has arrested any person, courts have been established in those states itself and those accused persons are being tried by those courts in their home states. Since, NIA court has been created in the state of J&K and the political prisoners arrested by NIA should also be tried in the State of J&K. The Human Rights Associations/Groups /Organisations also required to take note of the happenings and come to the rescue of the Kashmiri prisoners. The Bar Association on its part has also decided to agitate the matter before the court of law to redeem the sufferings and miseries of the Kashmiri prisoners lodged in Tihar Jail Delhi. This report is accordingly prepared and circulated to all the concerned for immediate necessary action.

Sd/-
1. Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, Advocate, General Secretary.
2. Bilal Ahmad Wani, Treasurer;
3. Bashir Sidiq, Advocate, Executive Member
4. Bilal Ahmad Bhat, Executive Member.

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