No Need To Keep Innocents In Jails: Mufti
17 December 2003
News Network International
Jammu: The puppet Chief Minister Mufti Mohd Sayeed said in the Legislative Assembly that the innocent prisoners would be released from the jails. He denied that the coalition government is being 'governed and dictated' by the Centre, as alleged by National Conference leader Ali Mohd Sagar, saying the government has full authority of releasing any prisoner, daily Excelsior reported. 'This House is a sovereign body. Our government has full authority to release any prisoner, found innocent', Sayeed said in his brief reply to a resolution moved by Sagar demanding that the detenues, who are not involved in serious charges and are languishing in the jails, should be released. Moving the resolution, Sagar, referring to the government, said: 'you are being totally dictated and governed by the government of India. Release of the prisoners is a subject with which the Centre has nothing to do. Your slogan of the good governance has been exposed'. 'There is no need to keep any innocent person, especially who hadn't taken the gun in his hands, in the jails', Sayeed said citing the release of Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Dr Hubi and Sumbji after the coalition Government took over. 'The government has also given a general direction to the authorities that no person released on the court directions should be re-arrested barring exceptional cases in which the person happened to be a dreaded militant', he said. Saying that 514 persons are lodged in the jails under the Public Safety act (PSA) and 412 in police custody, he pointed out that sometime the over ground workers too turned out to be very dangerous for the situation as they motivate the youths. In his speech, Sagar called for a general amnesty for the prisoners against whom there were no serious charges like murders. Quoting from very first item of the coalition government's Common Minimum Programme (CMP) that physical, psychological and emotional wounds inflicted upon the people would be healed up, the NC leader observed that the healing touch policy of the government is losing touch. 'We had appreciated decisions of the government that the innocent persons in the jails would be released. But now, not even a single promise or commitment of the government made to the people has been fulfilled', he said noting that 1400 prisoners were languishing in the jails of Jammu and Kashmir and 100 others outside the jails. About 1000 others are in transit custody like police stations and the interrogation centres. Sagar, quoting a written government reply given to him on the resolution, said only three meetings were held in one year by a government committee, set up to review cases of the prisoners. It could decide the cases of only 12 detenues, he added. Referring to a Supreme Court direction that why 10 foreigners are not being released from the jails, Sagar wanted to know that why the government was afraid of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani in releasing the prisoners. 'Let them (Vajpayee and Advani) turn angry', he said and added that general amnesty is the best instrument for the prisoners, who were not facing any serious charges.