40 prisoners shifted out of Srinagar Central Jail
Srinagar, Feb 27: As many as 40 militants and their “sympathizers” including Pakistani national Zia Mustafa were shifted today from the Central jail here to prisons outside the Valley, a step taken after the dramatic escape of LeT’s Mohammed Naveed Jhatt from a hospital earlier this month.
The Jammu and Kashmir Prisons department chalked out a list of these militants and “sympathizers” in the Central jail and immediately a movement order for shifting them was initiated, officials said here.
Three Pakistani militants including Mustafa, who was accused of Nadimarg killings in 2003, were among those shifted to various jails outside the Kashmir Valley, they said.
Mustafa was accused by the police of being part of the conspiracy in the Nadimarg (Shopian) incident on the intervening night of March 23 and 24, 2003.
The State Home department, which had reportedly ignored earlier requests for shifting of these prisoners, took the decision after an internal enquiry pointed out about a “casual approach” being adopted by the department.
The Union Home Ministry had also come down heavily on the State government and directed it to fully review security measures in place in jails and transportation of inmates.
Among other prisoners shifted to district prison in Jammu were Ashfaq Ahmad Bhat, Mohammad Aslam Malik, Amir Nabi Wagey and a Pakistani militant Abdul Razak Baloch.
Shifting of prisoners came after the escape of Jhatt, who was lodged in Srinagar Central jail. He fled from a SMHS Hospital in the city after he and his accomplice shot and killed two policemen accompanying him. Jhatt was taken to the hospital for medical checkup.
After the incident, the State Home department issued instructions to immediately review security of militants who are lodged in Srinagar Central jail and move them to Jammu, Uddhampur, Leh jails.
MHA suggests security measures for jails in Srinagar
Srinagar, Feb 27: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has drafted a list of six long- and 23 short-term measures for jails in Srinagar, including segregating separatists, Pakistani and Kashmiri militants from other inmates.
According to the report published in ‘The Hindustan Times’, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba has personally sent the official communication to the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government on February 13.
“Some of the long-term measures include the construction of staff quarters on the jail premises, establishment of e-courts, holding trials through video conferencing, and the introduction of ‘special courts’ in jails to expedite trials of Pakistani prisoners. The ministry has also recommended shifting the Central Jail in Srinagar to the outskirts of the Valley, and bulletproof vans for transporting inmates,” said the report.
It also states that as part of the “short-term measures”, the ministry has asked the State government to introduce a system of cross-frisking under which all visitors, including government forces personnel, will be searched in the presence of CRPF troopers, J&K Police officials and jail staffers. Similarly, “the staffers will be frisked by the security forces”.
The ministry has also recommended that the security agencies conduct frequent raids in prisons and ensure militants and separatist elements don’t mingle.
The state government has also been asked to “vigorously contest court orders requiring prisoners to be lodged near trial courts,” the report said.
Some of the other measures, according to the report include banning the use of mobile phones by staff and visitors on jail premises, stricter visiting hours, establishing separate entries for men and women visitors and the effective management of the prisoners’ mess, to stop individuals from cooking food.