Srinagar, May 6 (PTI) National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Thursday expressed grief over the demise of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai and said the Union government should consider releasing ailing political prisoners.
In his condolence message, Abdullah prayed for peace to the soul of the deceased and forbearance to the bereaved on their inconsolable loss.
“Death of Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai brings home the point that the government must ensure the wellbeing of Kashmiri prisoners lodged across jails in the country. Their families are worried. In times of pandemic and at other times, they deserve to know that their loved ones are safe and healthy,” he said.
The Member of Parliament from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency said it is incumbent upon the government to ensure that necessary COVID-19 protocol is followed in detention centres across the country to ensure the wellbeing of inmates.
The government should consider releasing ailing political prisoners, even though the Supreme Court had already issued guidelines for decongesting jails in view of the pandemic, he said.
“Right to life is the fundamental right of every citizen of the country including undertrials and convicts facing incarceration at various prisons across the country,” he said.
“Governments across the emancipated world cannot afford to negate basic human rights to good health. I urge the government to consider the parole and temporary release of ailing inmates,” he said.
Abdullah said the government should also conduct a COVID care audit of all prisons across the country in general and Jammu and Kashmir in particular to ensure strict adherence to COVID protocol, availability of critical care equipment and drugs, and immediate parole to such inmates who are suffering from comorbidities.
Such a measure will help prevent loss of lives, he added. PTI SSB MIJ RHL