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[LISTEN] Kashmiri Activist Languishing in Indian Jail During COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Faizel Patel – 02/07/2020

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143)

A policeman walks inside the Tihar Jail in New Delhi [Reuters/Mansi Thapliyal]

A Kashmiri journalist based in Turkey whose father is languishing in the Tihar jail in India’s capital New Delhi says she fears for his life.

Ruwa Shah was speaking to Radio Islam on Thursday about the circumstances surrounding her father Altaf Ahmad Shah’s imprisonment and also not being able to visit him because of the current COVID-19 lockdown.

Altaf Ahmad is a political activist from Kashmir and also a co-member of Tehreek e Hurriyat, the largest party that has been guiding people in the freedom of Kashmir.

He was arrested after Indian authorities accused him of waging a war against India and his belief in the right to self-determination in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Shah says she fears for father life after a prison official who despite being tested positive for COVID-19 continues to be on duty at the facility.

“This official has been seen before he was tested positive for the virus by the prisoners inside. There were no measures taken despite the Supreme Court on India’s directions that the prisons should be de-crowded, people should be taken out and released on bail.”

Shah says no Kashmiri’s have been released from Tihar Jail.

“The Indian states clear message that ‘no matter what, you are not one of those who we cared for. So it’s like you die in prison.’ But hardened criminals who were charged with murder and rape were released.”

A heartbroken Shah says she last saw her father earlier this year and it was one of the most emotional visits.

 

Listen to the interview with Ruwa Shah 

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