Rashid Paul

SHRC directs notice to DG Prisons for probe into Central jail incident

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Srinagar, Apr 08: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Monday directed a notice to J&K’s Director General of Prisons in a matter seeking directions for investigation into the incident in which some inmates were injured past week in the Central Jail Srinagar.

The chairperson SHRC directed notice against the DG Prisons and posted the matter for hearing on 15th of this month.

A petition filed before the Commission by human rights activist M Ahsan Untoo asked the rights’ body to conduct investigation into the riots that broke out on 5th of April in the jail in which of two prisoners were injured and some barracks burned.

The petitioner activists said “the government forces also tear-gassed the inmates and resorted to pellet gun firing which led to injures to two prisoners”.

The petitioner said that a number of gas cylinder blasts occurred inside the fortified Central jail following massive protests by prison inmates (mostly political).

“Late Thursday evening when authorities started to move some jail inmates from a particular barrack to another, there was hue and cry as the prisoners felt that they were being shifted to jails outside the state,” said the petition.

Citing official statements, it said “the particular barrack along with some other barracks were to be renovated and the jail inmates were being shifted to other barracks till the renovation would have been completed. However, there was suddenly a hue and cry and rumors spread in the jail that the inmates were being shifted out of Kashmir valley."

The “petrified” inmates, according to the petition quoting officials, burnt a temporary shelter and tried to come to the outer cordon of the jail located in the Srinagar's downtown area.

The authorities also rushed additional companies of the CRPF to the jail to bring the situation under control, they said. However, the protests by the inmates continued throughout the night, and amid gas cylinder blasts, three barracks and a building suffered damage, it added.

The petitioner prayed that the Commission take cognizance of the matter and direct the respondents government functionaries to furnish detailed status report regarding the condition of inmates injured in the Central jail and conduct an inquiry.

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