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Close to Two Dozen Kashmiri Inmates Lodged in U.P. Jails Suffer Serious Health Issues

Anees Zargar |
Hundreds of Kashmiris were lodged in jails under the PSA as the government moved to abrogate Article 370 on August 5, 2019. A large number have been found to have serious health issues which are worsening.
Kashmir Crisis

Image Used for Representational Purpose

Srinagar: As many as 23 persons from Kashmir suffered health ailments including mental health issues in Uttar Pradesh jails since after being detained by the government in the wake of abrogation of Article 370, according to official jail records. 

Out of over 200 detainees from the Kashmir valley, 83 persons were lodged in Agra jail. As many as eight inmates from among the Agra detainees were suffering from serious ailments. Of them, 70-year-old Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association president Mian Qayoom was in a really bad state due to worsening of his diabetes and a heart condition.  

Trade leader Mohammad Yaseen Khan, also lodged in Agra jail, suffered from hypertension, asthma, prostate and stomach-related ailments. Three other inmates also reported issues related to hypertension while 22-year-old Ishfaq Hassan was reported to have suffered seizures. 

Both Qayoom and Yaseen, like hundreds of other Kashmiris, were detained due to “preventive measures” and slapped with the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) on August 5 last year with the government moving to abrogate Article 370 in the region and bifurcate  Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two Union Territories. The government also detained dozens of politicians including former Chief Ministers of the erstwhile state – Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. All three of them continue to remain in detention under the PSA, more than six months after their initial arrest under preventive measures. 

Earlier in February, the J&K High Court dismissed a petition challenging the “preventive detention” of Qayoom, while he was in Agra jail. It was said that continuing with his detention was necessary for sake the of “maintenance of the public order”.

At least five detainees at Naini Central Prison near Allahabad have reported worsening health issues out of the total 19 detainees lodged in the jail.  Seventy-two-year-old Ghulam Qadir Lone suffered from heart-related issues, a coronary artery disease and a chronic kidney disease. Zubair Ahmad Laway, another 20-year-old inmate from Kashmir, suffered from acute bronchitis while 29-year-old Mudasir Ahmad was treated for Hepatitis a month ago.  

Aside from physical ailments, jail records mention that two inmates from Ambedkar Nagar jail suffered from mental health issues including psychiatric disorders and anxiety issues while another inmate lodged in Central Jail Varanasi was reported to be a psychiatric patient. 

A 63-year-old lodged with 16 other detainees from Kashmir at District Bareilly Jail is diabetic with an insulin dependency and hypertension.  

Earlier, in December, 65-year-old Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, who was lodged at Allahabad Jail died while serving detention under PSA. Bhat was arrested for being an activist of Jamaat-e-Islami, an organisation banned in February last year. His body reached his family in North Kashmir’s Kulangam village in Handwara two days after he died. 

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