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IIOJK in focus

Kot Bhalwal jail a new death trap for Kashmiri, Pakistani prisoners: Wani

Islamabad, August 18 (KMS): All Parties Hurriyat Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir (APHC-AJK) chapter leader Altaf Hussain Wani has said that Kot Bhalwal jail, Jammu, has become a new death trap for hapless Kashmiri and Pakistani prisoners.

Altaf Hussain Wani in a statement issued in Islamabad, taking a strong exception to killing of under trial prisoners in staged encounters at the hands of the Indian army, said it is quite ridiculous to see that prisoners are being used as scapegoats and killed by in fake encounters after being labelled as militants.

Terming the assertions of Additional Director General of Police, Jammu zone, as a cock and bull story, he said Mohammad Ali Hussain was killed in a fake encounter the way Zia Mustafa, a citizen of Azad Kashmir, was killed last year. “Zia was also lodged in the same jail. He was taken out from the jail and rushed down to the woods in Bhatta Durrian area of Poonch district where he was killed during a so-called cordon and search operation.”

The murder of Hussain alias Jehangir, he said, was conducted in the same fashion. “Like Zia Mustafa, Hussain was also driven out of the jail in the dead of night and later killed in the Phallian Mandal area near LoC”, Wani added.

The killing of prisoners one after the other, he said, had sent shock waves down the spine of prisoners logged in the Kot Bhalwal jail, which, he said, has become a new death trap for under trial Kashmiri and Pakistani prisoners booked under trumped up charges.

Hussain’s killing under mysterious circumstances at a location far away from the prison is yet another sickening chronicle and a dastardly practice of extra-judicial killing of prisoners in fake encounters by the Indian forces. “His murder is a clear violation of international laws “, he said.

About 11500 prisoners lodged in Kot Bhalwal jail have gone on hunger strike after they came to know about the killing of an inmate at a location away from prison. According to reports Muhammad Ali Hussain was told that he will be produced in a court in Bangalore in an FIR against him.

Voicing his serious concern over the plight of Kashmiri prisoners, the prominent rights activist said, “The government of India has badly failed in protecting the life of prisoners”.

Seeking urgent attention of the world rights bodied towards the cold-blooded murder of Ali Hussain, he reiterated his call for a credible and transparent investigation into such incidents to ensure justice.

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