Srinagar: In the backdrop of Coronavirus scare in the country, National Conference (NC) Member of Parliament (MP) Hasnain Masoodi on Monday wrote a letter to Union Home Minsiter Amit Shah and urged him to release detainees lodged in different jails within and outside J&K.
He said pending such revocation, Mr Shah should direct immediate shifting of all the detainees lodged outside J&K back to the Union Territory.
The development comes a day after centre announced lockdown of 80 cities, including Srinagar, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru, across the country till March 31 to curtail spread of Coronavirus.
Masoodi said the letter was to draw the Union Home Minster’s attention to the plight of hundreds of detainees under the Public Safety Act lodged in Ambedkar Nagar, Agra, Tihar and other jails outside Jammu and Kashmir. “The detainees, it needs to be realised, are detained without charge and trial on a mere suspicion, later found to be misplaced,” he said in the letter.
“There are numerous judicial pronouncements commanding the government to lodge the detenue in a jail nearest to home so that the relatives and friends visit detenue, and the detenue due to lack of social interaction, is not exposed to mental trauma. In case of detainees lodged outside J&K, the direction is being observed in breach,” the MP said.
He said the lockdown and restrictions imposed on travel and traffic, to combat the Covind-19 crises, would make it impossible for the relatives to visit the detainees lodged a few hundred miles from his home. “Resultantly the detainees would be exposed to immense psychological distress and his valuable constitutional right defeated,” he said.
This apart, he said the detention as universally accepted, because of overcrowding is in conflict with social distancing a key response to COVID-19 crises. “The detainees, otherwise held without charge or trial, against said backdrop, deserve to be released and the detention orders revoked,” he said.
Therefore, Mr Masoodi said he requests the Home Minister to direct revocation of detention orders against all the detainees lodged within and outside J&K and pending such revocation request you to direct immediate shifting of all the detainees lodged outside J&K back to J&K forthwith.