Srinagar, October 14: Welcoming the release of former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Wednesday called for release of all other political detainees who are lodged in and outside J&K jails.
In a statement, Bukhari observed that the government’s move to release Ms. Mufti, though delayed, is a significant step in the right direction. He, however, demanded immediate release of hundreds of political detainees who are still in jails and some of whom are lodged outside J&K since August 5, 2019.
“It has been our consistent demand that all the political activists and leaders be released to ease up the sufferings of people. Their release is imperative in view of the fast spreading COVID-19 pandemic that prevents their families, in most of the cases, to visit them in jails outside J&K,” Bukhari observed.
He said that on the one side the central government is taking all measures to stem spread of the COVID-19 and on the other hand it seems the plight of political detainees and their families is being ignored for trivial reasons.
Bukhari said that there are families who are economically downtrodden and cannot meet their loved ones who were detained last year and are still lodged outside J&K jails.
Bukhari said the COVID-19 crisis has adversely affected the basic human rights of political prisoners who are held without charge or trial but on a mere suspicion. “The families of grassroots level political workers are undergoing mental trauma as they are not able to visit them in jails regularly. The union government must order their release on compassionate and humanitarian grounds,” he observed.