It has been more than three months now that the administration has put most of the prominent mainstream politicians under detention. Though their release has been much a talked about affair from the past few weeks but the union government has been insisting that they will be released on an appropriate time.
However, there have been some hard line approaches quite visible which have been pointing towards keeping these leaders under detention so as to avoid any law and order situation at a time when things have started to get normal in Kashmir region.
The detention of these leaders has been attracting attention, though from select quarters as the people generally have been ignoring their plight. However, this does not mean that the mainstream politicians deserve an ordeal that should have otherwise been avoided.
Just yesterday the detained leaders were allowed to meet some of their family members. Though the meetings itself presented emotional outbursts but some serious allegations too came to the fore.
The families of detained mainstream Kashmiri political leaders, who have been under custody for over three months now, rued the lack of basic amenities at the MLA Hostel, where the detainees were moved from a hotel early this week.
The families, who were allowed to meet the leaders, claimed that the MLA Hostel did not have proper heating arrangements and the food being provided to the politicians was substandard.
The move to shift the detainees from the converted subsidiary jail (centaur hotel) to the MLA hostel in Lalchowk was necessitated owing to the advent of winter in Kashmir. As Kashmir is reeling under harsh winter conditions, the Jammu and Kashmir administration shifted 34 political prisoners to the MLA Hostel, which has been designated a sub-jail, from Centaur Hotel as it lacked heating arrangements.
However, the shocking news of the hostel being deprived of all basic facilities is quite worrisome as the detained leaders too have their rights and privileges which they are entitled to even while being in detention.
The families also alleged that they were harassed by the security personnel deployed at the venue as the vehicles they had come in were not allowed even to venture near the MLA hostel premises.
The families had insisted that vehicles be allowed near the premises as they had brought some essentials including beddings and matting’s for the detainees to escape the harsh winter chill.
The plight of the detainees was no better in the Centaur hotel as well as many of the detainees including senior NC and PDP leaders were bitten by rats and they had to be provided anti rabies vaccine as well.
The administration’s approach towards the detainees needs a rethink. Political differences apart, the administration needs to act in a fair manner and provide due attention to the needs of the detainees, no matter to what political ideology or thoughts the detainees subscribe to.