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Kashmiris being treated like animals in Tihar Jail

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SRINAGAR: A Kashmiri young man who bagged National Award in 2003 for excellence in handicrafts is serving detention in Delhi’s Tihar Jail for the past one year. He has revealed how Kashmiris—most of them framed in false and fabricated cases—are treated worse than animals in Tihar, Asia’s biggest prison. Aijaz Hussein Khawaja, a resident of Gund Hasibat, Srinagar told a team of Kashmir High Court Bar Association how he was picked up from New Delhi where he had been putting up since 1976 and running shawl business. Aijaz had also purchased a flat in Jangpura Extension.

He told the Bar team that he visited Srinagar in June 2006 and after staying in the Valley for some time he left for Delhi on July 4. “On August 8, 2007, Delhi Police raided my Jangpora residence ostensibly in search of a man named Liaqat who they said was serving as a DSP in Kashmir police. Delhi Police team searched the flat and took away Rs 52 lakh which I had brought from Srinagar after selling a piece of land at Hyderpora for investing in the business,” Aijaz said, adding that was taken along by the Delhi police and detained in a cell for two weeks.

A report by the Bar Association quotes Aijaz as saying that Delhi Police wanted him to admit before a magistrate he had brought a polythene bag from Srinagar containing RDX, but he refused after which the cops beat him mercilessly.

When he did not succumb to the pressure of Delhi police, Aijaz said his wife and children were brought to the detention cell. He was threatened if he doesn’t accept the crime which he never committed, his wife will be paraded naked in the cell before his eyes. “During this time Aijaz was kept naked in front of his family,” the Bar report says. Following the threats, Aijaz said he agreed to admit the “crime.”

Aijaz was then taken to a magistrate where he was asked to sign certain blank documents. His case is pending before the Tis Hazari court. The Bar Association team went to the Tihar on the directions of the High Court. The team comprised senior attorneys Mian Abdul Qayoom , Muhammad Ashraf Bhat and Bashir Sidiq.

The team met 21 Kashmiri detainees in the Tihar Jail who accused the jail authorities of subjecting them to inhuman treatment and restricting them from performing religious obligations.
The detainees also accused the jail authorities of forcing them to attend Hindu rituals like bhajans , vipasana, etc.-SANA

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Rubab Saleemhttp://www.rubabsaleem.com
Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times
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