Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kashmiri detainee’s letter reveals ‘mental torture’ of Muslim inmates

Courtesy: Daily Rising Kashmir dt. Nov. 13th, 2008 by Rashid Paul
Srinagar, Nov 12: A Kashmiri prisoner in Kotebalwal jail, Jammu in a secret letter to his family has accused the jail officials of tormenting Muslim imamates psychologically by desecrating religious scriptures besides routine physical torture.The detainee, Tariq Ahmed, son of Ghulam Nabi Shah of Bijbihara has sent a letter to his relatives narrating his ordeal at the hands of the jail authorities. The letter, a copy of which lies with this newspaper has been sent and signed by Tariq on November 4. “While I was being produced before a court in Islamabad on October 31, I dared to complaint against the torture I was subjected to by the jailors. In return I was subjected to worst emotional trauma when Jagdish Manhas, the jail officer, snatched a copy of Quran from me and threw it on the ground,” Tariq wrote in the letter.“They tore apart the Holy book. I tried to stop them. However, they were raging in anger and beat me remorselessly. The emotional punishment was unbearable and I broke down,” he said.The detainee writes that Jagdish Manhas, Havildar Tilak Raj and other two sentries on August 11 hammered him mercilessly.“I was penalized as I had complained to jail superintendent and his deputy that prisoners were being provided subhuman foods and there was no respect for jail manual”, he said.“The beating was so ruthless that blood streaked out from my body. The wounds were deep and could not heal till the date of my hearing at Islamabad. I showed my wounds to the judge and narrated my woes to him,” Tariq writes.“This enraged the officials and they defiled my Quran and also thrashed me,” Tariq said. He has sought action against the jailors and asked for their trial for “committing crimes against humanity.”A spokesman of Kashmir High Court Bar Association strongly condemned the incident and said it is a reflection of plight of detainees face in different jails within and outside the sate. The spokesman said if prisoners continued to be treated like this the Bar Association will have no choice but to take corrective measures against the jailors.

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