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Another 29 Kashmiri prisoners shifted to Agra Central Jail

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Another 29 Kashmiri prisoners shifted to Agra Central Jail

Since the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, Kashmir is hogging the media headlines. However, there is a quiet undercurrent that is still flowing below the media radar. The government is busy shifting prisoners from Kashmir to prisons in other states, making it seem like the Kashmir prisons are being cleared for some other purpose.

A special chartered aircraft from Kashmir delivered another batch of 29 Kashmiri prisoners in Agra, who were shifted immediately to the Agra Central Jail under heavy guard, taking the total number of prisoners in Agra Central Jail to 85.

Speaking to India Today, Hindustani Biradari secretary Ziauddin, said that probably Kashmiri prisons are getting overloaded with prisoners, so they are being sent to the central jails in Uttar Pradesh.

However, the presence of Kashmiri prisoners could be a public safety risk too, as there was no information about these prisoners and their criminal records, he said.

He added that earlier too, several terrorists from Kashmir have been kept in the Agra Central Jail which had made the local residents apprehensive about their safety.

According to the available information, old prisoners have been asked to clear their barracks and they have been adjusted in other barracks, while these vacated barracks have been designated as Kashmiri barracks. This makes it probable that a lot more Kashmiri prisoners will be brought to the Agra Central Jail soon.

All these prisoners have apparently been charged under the Public Safety Act and were involved in separatist activities and stone pelting at armed forces. With the Agra Central Jail already being stuffed more than its capacity, reserving a few barracks for Kashmiri prisoners out of the limited number of barracks could result in more discomfort for the prisoners. And their discontent combined with the humid heat of September, could result in serious incidents inside the prison.

A prison employee told India Today that these prisoners are allowed to eat inside the barracks while the rest of the prisoners have to come out of the barracks and queue up for their food. Still, some of these prisoners have complained of stomach ache, being unaccustomed to the humidity and heat of Agra, he said. These prisoners have been given proper medical care, he added.

Meanwhile, the intelligence agencies are keeping an eye on the perimeter around the prison, especially in the 2 kilometre area around the prison. They are also seeking all the information from locals who live in this zone. The local police have also increased patrolling in this area with additional guard posts being constructed at the prison gate and new CCTV cameras being installed.

According to the available information, relatives of the Kashmiri prisoners who were brought here earlier have arrived in Agra to meet their kin. They are staying in various lodges and hotels in the Muslim areas of the city, but intelligence agencies appear to be unaware of their presence in the city.