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Kashmir Newz Board

Rights group calls for release of Kashmiri prisoners

Srinagar, Thursday, February 28, 2008:

The activists of a New Delhi based rights group Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CFRPP) today held a day long sit in protest at Srinagar, demanding the release of all “political prisoners” in India.

The activists mostly belonging to families of imprisoned Kashmiris accuse the authorities of continuing human rights violation in Indian administered Kashmir.

"There are gross human rights violations going on ground," said Noor Muhammad Kalwal an activist.

"On one hand they (India) are saying that conditions have improved in Kashmir but on the other hand they are continuing with their oppressive tactics."

The association claimed that around 10,000 Kashmiris are currently imprisoned in various Indian jails both inside and outside Kashmir and “most of them in inhuman conditions”.

"There is no discrimination in arresting a Kashmiri" said Kalwal.

"The jailed consist of students, businessmen, journalists, government employees, doctors and others."

The protestors comprising of about dozen families had assembled near the Press Colony in Srinagar, while activists from the group staged protests at eight other paces across India, including the capital New Delhi.

At new Delhi the activists were led by its head SAR, who himself spent years in Indian jails on charges of conspiring in the attack on Indian parliament in Sentenced to death by a lower court, Geelani was later exonerated by the Supreme Court

They activists appealed international groups such as the United Nations Organisation, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to intervene in the issue of prisoners.

Shams u Din Kota, on of the protestors said, "My son Bilal Ahmad Kota was doing business at Bellary in Karnataka.

"Then one day we heard news on TV that Bilal was arrested by police and labelled as a terrorist weapons were recovered from him," said Kota.

The Kota family had been wandering from pillar to post for the last 14 months, but till date Bilal has not been released.

Kota said that Bilal had been imprisoned only for being a Kashmiri.

Another protestor Ali Mohammed Khan of Alastang, Shuhama said that his nephew Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh, a coppersmith was arrested by police on June 30, 2006.

"He was the lone bread earner for the family," said Sheikh.

To top their miseries, Yaqoob is now suffering from cancer.

"Even then they are not releasing him, now will they release him after death" said a moist eyed Khan.

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