Mehbooba writes to PM Modi seeks release of Kashmiri prisoners

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Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release Kashmiri detainees lodged in various jails of India amid a raging second wave of pandemic.

In a letter addressed to PM Modi, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir 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.”

Adding that 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.” She pointed out.

The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir further said, “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. I hope you will give due consideration to this matter and order their release,” Mehbooba said.

In a letter to PM Modi detailing the current situation and ailing health care system of the country, she further said, “I write to you at a time when the entire country has been engulfed by a deadly second wave of COVID. Unfortunately the health infrastructure has completely collapsed and the harrowing images of stranded COVID patients gasping for breath have shocked us all. The sense of helplessness is so acute and pervasive that the living are quite literally suffocating to death,”

Adding that while the dead suffer indignity even after losing the battle to this virus. Families have watched on helplessly as they struggle to even accord their loved ones the proper dignified last rites of passage.

“One doesn’t wish or want to politicise the human tragedy that has befallen us all. It’s an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of caste, colour, religion or social status and has affected everyone.” She said.

She further said that 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.

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