17 detenues released from three jails of Jammu region
Jammu, Mar 26 (UNI) The Jammu and Kashmir government today released nine more detenues, who were detained under J&K Public Safety Act (PSA) 1978, taking the total number of such prisoners to 17.
Earlier, the government released eight detenues from Kotbalwal jail, as recommended by the high-powered committee of Union Home Ministry to release 40 detenues, who are not facing any serious charges, as a goodwill gesture. The remaining 23 would be released within a few days. The total number of such prisoners is 403.
Eight of them were released from the Kathua district jail and one from Udhampur district jail.
The detenues, to be released, were selected from Kotbalwal jail, Udhampur jail and Ambphalla district jail where the only woman detainee was lodged.
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had announced that the people detained under PSA would be released to provide the misguided youth a chance to return to the mainstream.
It may be mentioned here 44 PSA detenues were released on the basis of the recommendations of the Joint Review Committee in October last year.
Meanwhile in Srinagar, expressing concern over the continued detention of hundreds of Kashmiris, the breakaway Hurriyat Conference alleged that the coalition government headed by Congress was playing politics in the name of prisoners.
Reacting to state government's decision to release the prisoners, a Hurriyat spokesman said different courts in the state had already ordered the release of 100 detenues after quashing their detention under Public Safety Act (PSA).
He said it was surprising that an announcement was made to mislead the world that 400 detenues will be released. Now the number has come down to 40 only, he alleged and expressed concern over the continued detention of hundreds of other prisoners including Sheikh Abdul Aziz, Zamrooda Habib, Bilal Siddiqui, Ghulam Nabi Najar, Mohammad Ahsan Awantoo, Bita Karatay, Mohammad Qasim, Shabir Ahmad Zargar, Javid Munshi and Maroofa, for a long time.
He alleged that after the Peoples Democratic Party, the coalition government headed by the Congress was playing politics in the name of prisoners.
He said HC has appealed to the International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC) staff deployed in the state to use their influence for seeking the release of Kashmiris languishing in different jails in and outside the state.
On the direction from the Centre after the Roundtable Conference, a high level committee recently discussed the cases of 400 detenues and recommended the release of 40 detenues not involved in any serious crime. Eight of the detenues were released from Kotbalwal jail at Jammu while others are being freed after completing their documents.
UNI HGV/BAS YA MSJ KN1715