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Release all political prisoners: Mehbooba Mufti

TBL web desk

Mehbooba Mufti, former Chief Minister of Jammu Kashmir and PDP President wrote a letter on Friday to Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealing to him to immediately free the Political detainees kept in jails in and outside of J&K because the COVID-19 cases are on the spike in the country.

She wrote in the letter, “Throughout the world, most countries have released prisoners on parole in view of the alarming COVID crisis. A democratic and civilised country like India shouldn’t drag its feet and must release these detainees immediately so that they can return home at a time when life feels so threatened.”

Mehbooba said that she did not intend to “politicise the human tragedy that has befallen us all”. She wrote in the letter to Prime Minister, “It’s an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of caste, colour, religion or social status and has affected everyone. Perhaps the only silver lining in this tragic time is how Indians cutting across religious and regional lines are coming together to lend each other a helping hand.”

She added that various disturbing reports about the deaths of prisoners because of the virus and the dearth of proper medical care are coming. She further said that now when the system is trying to tackle the horrifying situation, the lives of prisoners perhaps are least important.

Talking about political prisoners of J&K she said, “As far as Kashmir is concerned, it is no secret that hundreds, or may be thousands of detainees and political prisoners arrested since August 2019 continue to languish in jails both in and outside J-K.”

Pointing towards the death of Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai because of COVID-19 she wrote, “Most of them are detained under preventive laws and don’t face any prosecution. Many continue to be held even after courts granted them bail. Most recent reminder of the lurking threat to their lives is Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai’s death, who lost his life because he contracted COVID in jail and was deprived of medical care.”

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