Kashmir

Asiya Andrabi, two associates shifted to Tihar’s ‘punishment ward’, says family

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Srinagar: Asiya Andrabi, founder and chairperson of Dukhtaran-e Milat, and her two associates, Nahida Nasreen, and Sofi Fehmida were shifted to Tihar Jail’s Punishment Ward on Tuesday, according to family members.

Asiya’s younger son, Ahmed Bin Qasim wrote on twitter, “I woke up to the news that mother and her two aides have been shifted to “Punishment Ward”. The condition of this ward is terrible and the routine is extremely stringent.”

“Mother is almost 60 now. Her aide, Nahida Nasreen, is 54 and battling multiple illnesses. Fehmeeda Sofi is 32 but bedridden. All of them have families.” Ahmed tweeted.

Asiya Andrabi was arrested in 2018 along with her two associates after India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered a case against her and her associates under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The trio were taken to Tihar Jail where they remain in prison. Asiya suffers from life threatening diseases such as Angiodema, Utrecaria, Arthrites, Asthma and Bronchospasm.

Asiya was also named in the the alleged “terror financing” case.

In the case, the court had earlier granted bail to photojournalist Kamran Yousuf, one of the accused, and Javed Bhat, after the NIA couldn’t prove the charges in court.

ALSO READ: Families of Hurriyat leaders concerned over their deteriorating health conditions in Tihar

DeM General Secretary, Nahida Nasreen, 55, mother of two sons and a daughter, also suffers from various health issues. The family says that she has been denied proper medical care inside the infamous Tihar jail.

The Press Secretary of DeM Sofi Fehmeeda, 32, is bedridden and suffers from various health related issues.

Regarding detentions, UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres’s office has called for ‘countries to take a very close look at incarcerations during the pandemic.

As countries around the world released prisoners in order to prevent outbreaks in prisons, the Supreme Court of India directed all states and union territories to release prisoners on parole, but with conditions attached.

ALSO READ: Transfer of NIA’s alleged ‘terror funding case’ makes families of detainees feel like they are going in circles

As per government reports 7,357 people in Jammu and Kashmir were arrested only after August 2019, when the Government of India scrapped Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which granted autonomy to the region. The state turned Union Territory remained under a government imposed clampdown for several months.

Following the pandemic, 31 Kashmiri prisoners were released from various jails of Srinagar city, however hundreds continue to remain detained across various jails in India.

Recently, prisoners lodged at district Jail Anantnag in south Kashmir, tested positive for the novel coronavirus, adding to the worries of their families who hail from various districts of Kashmir.

Officials in the jails had said that besides 90 inmates, a police personnel and a contractor supplying daily essentials to the jail, had tested positive following which the administration has called for isolation of affected prisoners.

A family member had told Free Press Kashmir, “fitting 200 inmates in space feasible for 60 inmates is the main cause of spreading of the virus,” he said, adding that putting them in a common sharing space will worsen the situation.

Families of other inmates in jails across India too have raised concerns regarding their health and treatment meted out to them in these prisons.

 

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