Ashiq Peerzada in Srinagar

From Tehelka: “Forget Abu Ghraib, look at what is happening in Kashmir

“Even as the world grapples with pictures of torture by American troops in prisons in Iraq, a new report has thrown the spotlight harshly back on jails in Jammu & Kashmir. A nine-member team — headed by High Court Bar Association (hcba) president Abdul Qayoom — surveyed seven jails in Kashmir and detailed the inhuman conditions the prisoners are forced to live in.”

“And the findings of Qayoom’s team, documented in a 27-page report submitted to the high court, are damning. “There are scores of inmates who are suffering from such a fear psychosis that they are not ready to talk. They fear further oppression from the jail authorities,” says Qayoom.”

“…the case of Mehraj-ud-Din Sofi of Hazratbal. A part of his left arm was allegedly chopped off during interrogation. Despite an orthopaedic, Dr Dhara Singh, recommending surgery for the rest of the arm, no medical care has been given to him so far.”

“In other case, Muhammad Ayoub — lodged in Kathua Jail — complained of pain in his chest and requested for medical help but did not get any. “Thereafter, he attempted suicide inside his barrack by sprinkling kerosene on his body… No medical officer is posted in the jail,” says the report.”

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