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Suffering behind the bars
Posted:Sep 8, 2017
 
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Very disturbing reports about plight of detainees in various jails have been received. The reports pertain to psychological torture of the detainees and denial of medicare to them. The persecution continues unabated notwithstanding the directions of the High Court seeking implementation of the jail manual in letter and spirit. 
 
It looks like that torture and persecution of prisoners is followed like a policy. The prisoners have informed their relatives how they are made to clean the toilets. The ailing Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief is  inconvenienced with a purpose and so are the other detainees. It needs to be made clear that political prisoners are not like condemned criminals. They are a trust with the authority that holds them. Besides treating them like human beings, their right to proper food and medicare has to be upheld and enforced strictly. Jails outside Kashmir mostly provide pulses to the prisoners. 
 
This has wreaked havoc with their bodies. The Uric Acid level is high and other irregularities have also crept in. Not to speak of vegetables, there is provision for a particular quantity of mutton in the jail manual. While the prisoners rarely seek mutton, there is need to provide fresh vegetables. The woes of the under trials are manifold. The state fails to produce them in the courts on hearing days on one pretext or the other. 
 
The under trial have reason to believe that the administration deliberately hampers their production in courts. This is a grave issue and amounts to denying justice by delaying it. The Bar Association visits the jails almost every year and produces reports about the plight of the prisoners. The reports suggest measures for welfare of the detainees. However, the authorities treat the reports as `packs of paper’. 
 
The SHRC recommendations have also gone in vain and the ICRC presence has not helped much. Not only the prisoners, the persons who visit them from time to time to enquire about their welfare are also harassed and humiliated by the jail administration. The Chief Minister, who happens to be the Home Minister of the state as well, must take note.
 
 
 
 
 
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