Detainees at Central Jail start hunger strike
Demand withdrawal of FIR
Srinagar: The inmates of central jail here on Monday started a hunger strike to press for their demands including withdrawal of FIR against them in connection with a recent incident inside the prison.
Official sources said that inmates started the hunger strike on Monday morning and their demands include the transfer of jail Superintendent, stay on shifting of jail inmates to outside states and withdrawal of FIR registered against them in connection with the recent incident of arson during the intervening night of April 5 and 6.
As has been reflected in the recent report of the Kashmir High Court Bar Association, the inmates have also demanded that they shall be provided newspapers and other periodicals and allowed to read books including the Holy Quran.
After interaction with the inmates, a five-member team of lawyers from the Bar Association submitted a report before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar. The report quoting inmates said that the fire earlier attributed to the inmates actually happened due to firing of teargas shells by police and paramilitary CRPF called to quell the protests inside the jail after inmates protested against alleged desecration of Holy Quran.
The inmates, as per Bar report said, are not allowed to meet any of the visitors or relatives and are also not being provided any newspaper or access to any media like TV or Radio.
“The Bar members found that after the incident, there has been a communication breakdown between the inmates and the jail administration.”
The Bar team found that the inmates feel that a conspiracy has been hatched against them and the State has adopted a hostile attitude towards them for their “political ideology and thought.”
“They feel that they will not be provided any opportunity of proving their innocence before any enquiry officer which may be ordered in the matter or in the court of law. They feel that they may be shifted to some jail outside the State so as to prolong their trial and detention in jail. They have demanded that the whole incident should be got enquired into by the High Court and the enquiry should be supervised by a sitting judge of the court.”
The Bar team had said that inmates also demanded that the FIR registered against them by the jail authorities “being an attempt to victimize them” should not be allowed to be investigated until the enquiry gets completed by the High Court.” (GNS)