APHC leader Altaf Ahmad Shah embraces martyrdom in Indian jail

New Delhi, October 11 (KMS): Illegally detained senior leader of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Altaf Ahmad Shah, has embraced martyrdom in Indian jail.

Altaf Ahmad Shah, who was son-in-law of the icon of Kashmir freedom movement martyred Syed Ali Gilani, had been languishing in New Delhi’s infamous Tihar Jail after his arrest in 2017. He breathed his last on late Monday night at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), New Delhi, just days after he was diagnosed with late stage renal cancer that had spread to other parts of his body.

Altaf Ahmad Shah, 66, was arrested by the Indian police along with other APHC leaders, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Ayaz Muhammad Akbar, Shahid-ul-Islam, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Raja Merajuddin Kalwal and Peer Saifullah in a false case registered against them.

Altaf Shah was suffering from multiple ailments and his health had deteriorated as the Indian authorities denied him basic facilities including medical care in the jail. On September 30, his daughter Ruwa Shah in a tweet stated that he had been diagnosed with renal cancer, which had spread to his vital organs. She had requested the Indian authorities including Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and Home Minister, Amit Shah, on the behalf of her entire family to consider his bail application on health grounds so that they could get him treated. However, the brutal Modi regime didn’t set him free.

Altaf Ahmad Shah was an important member of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH), a constituent of APHC, and worked closely with the martyred Syed Ali Gilani, who also embraced martyrdom at his residence on September 01, last year, while remaining under house arrest for over a decade.

The APHC in a statement had urged the Indian government to release Altaf Shah Shah on bail on humanitarian grounds and let his family take care of him. It had maintained that the illegally detained Kashmiri political prisoners including Hurriyat leaders and activists languishing in different prisons across India since 2017 and even before have developed serious health problems due non-provision of medical care and hygienic food.

Altaf Ahmad Shah is not the first Kashmiri political prisoner who had died during illegal detention.

Earlier, Syed Ali Gilani, 92, embraced martyrdom under house detention in Srinagar on September 01, last year. He remained under house arrest for over a decade. Senior APHC leader, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, 77, who was a close associate of Syed Ali Gilani, died on May 5 last year in a Jammu jail. He was jailed under draconian law public Safety Act that allows the authorities to detain a person for up to two years without bail.

Another Hurriyat leader and former member of Jamaat-e-Islami in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam Muhammad Butt, 65, embraced martyrdom in December 2019 in Naini jail in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

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