Kashmir Indepth

Covid-19: Prisoners “not posing threat”, likely to be released after review Committee’s decision

Led by Home Sec, J&K UT’s Review Committee on prisoners to hold deliberations through video conferencing

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Ishtiyaq Ahmed

Srinagar, March 25 (KINS): At a time when demand for release of Kashmiri prisoners lodged in various states out of J&K and within the Union Territory (UT) is going shriller, the UT’s Review Committee on Prisoners (RCP) headed by Home Secretary of J&K is likely to convene a crucial meet on the issue through video conferencing with all members on board to take a final call, KINS has learnt.

However, top officials in the security grid of J&K revealed that in the first phase and on humanitarian grounds, prisoners “not posing threat to country” and with less and minor offences will likely to be released in very manner that they don’t transmit Covid-19.

 A top official in the J&K UT’s administration told Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS) that release of prisoners will only be taken after the review committee on prisoners (RCP), which is headed by Home Secretary of J&K UT and with DGP, and other three officers from various departments as its members, takes a call.

“There was a proposal to make a list of prisoners with minor offences who are lodged in J&K UT prisons. Their cases will be reviewed and if it is found that they are in no way threat to peace, they will be released accordingly,” he said. When asked, when the meeting was scheduled, the officer said that meeting will be held through video conferencing.

“In view of fast spreading Covid-19, the meeting will be held via video conferring in the days ahead. At present details of some cases is being collected from the police and other security agencies,” he said. “A list of prisoners with minor offences will be prepared and accordingly reviewed for release.”

The development comes close on the heels of humble appeal made by the family members of prisoners in Kashmir who sought the release of their dear ones lodged within and outside J&K jails.

On Tuesday, families of prisoners appealed to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and J&K UT Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandera Murmu seeking release of prisoners and their dear ones on humanitarian grounds.

At the same time them, senior security advisor on J&K’s security affairs in Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) K Vijay Kumar had disclosed to KINS that Centre was mulling and taking some steps towards prisoner’s release in view of pandemic Covid-19.

Interestingly, Union Minister of State (MoS) home G K Reddy had recently told Rajya Sabha that post August 5 last year, 7000 people were detained in J&K while as over 300 were booked under PSA. However, police sources revealed that majority of those arrested post August 5 last year barring some separatists and politicians, were released. (KINS)

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