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IIOJK in focus

Held incommunicado: Families of detained Kashmiri youth to move Indian SC

Srinagar, July 25 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), families of several youth illegally detained this year under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) have said their kin have gone incommunicado after getting shifted to outside jails.

Tt least three such families, where their detained sons have no communication with them after being shifted to jails outside IIOJK, have decided to knock the doors of the Indian Supreme Court.

An Indian media report citing an unofficial estimate suggested that around 200 Kashmiri youth faced detentions under the PSA this year.

“I am not sure if my elder brother is alive or dead. I haven’t heard from him since the Shopian police called him in March this year, as soon as he had finished his lunch that day. We were told he has to stay in the police station for a night. Then days passed by and he was booked under the PSA and first shifted to Kot Balwal, Jammu, and then outside,” Amir Hussian Lone, younger brother of arrested Bilal Lone, said in a media interview.

As per official records, Bilal has been shifted to the Allahabad Jail in Uttar Pradesh. “I don’t have money to even attend his [Bilal’s] hearings in a Srinagar court, leave aside travelling outside,” Amir added.

Similarly, Raja Begum from Srinagar’s Parimpora does not know about the whereabouts of his son Arif Ahmad Sheikh since he was shifted to the Central Jail, Varanasi in UP. Likewise, Sonullah, father of arrested Mohammad Mehraj-ud-Din from Bandipora’s Gund Jahangir, Hajin, went incommunicado since he was arrested on April 08, 2022.

The families have decided to file a petition before the Indian Supreme Court.

“We will plead for an order or direction to the respondents to make arrangements to allow the families, friends, counsels of the detainees to have access to communication,” Syed Musaib, a lawyer in IIOJK High Court, said in a media interview. He maintained that the detainees detained under PSA were being arbitrarily shifted from local district and central jails within IIOJK to the jails of Indian states.

Musaid said, the families are incapacitated in communicating with the detainees and also the detainees are unable to avail effective legal remedies as guaranteed under the Indian constitution. A detainee has basic right, among other rights, to contact the outside world and family during the period of detention, he added.

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