174 Foreign Mercenaries Languishing In Different Jails Of State
5 March 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: A total number of 174 foreign mercenaries have been languishing in different jails of the State under Public Safety Act (PSA). This was stated by Minister Incharge Home in a written reply to the question of National Conference member Javed Rana in the Lower House today. The Minister stated that a total number of 600 detenues have been lodged in different jails on the State. Out of them, 426 are local while as 174 are foreigners. Replying to a question regarding number of detenues who have been released under 'Healing Touch Policy', the Minister stated that from November 2002 to January 2005, 553 persons were released on the recommendation of the Screening Committee. Twenty nine detenues were released in November and December months of 2002 while as 274 persons were released in 2003. In 2004, 223 detenues were released while as 27 persons were released in January 2005. The Minister refuted the allegation that slow process was the reason for not releasing the youth putting up in different jails since long without any charge or trial. 'The assumption is not based on facts. There is a set procedure for release of detenues-under trails by the Courts of law', he stated, adding, 'in addition, in case of individuals detained under PSA, the cases are reviewed from time to time and releases decided on the basis of extent of involvement and likely impact on security environment of the area. The Minister pointed out that during 2001 and 2002, only 59 and 83 detenues were released respectively. He stated that there was no question of any innocent youth being kept in jail without due process of law. Replying to a question of Dr Chaman Lal, Minister of State for Home, Abdul Rehman Veeri said that eight out of 141 officers of various services have been inducted into KAS since January 1, 2003. The Minister, replying to another question, stated that an area measuring 307 Kanals and 6 Marlas in 11 villages of tehsil Hiranagar has come under the border fencing. Out of this land, 179 Kanals, 13 Marlas are under consideration of the Government for issuance of 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) so that acquisition proceedings for payment of compensation should be done. Besides, the revenue papers of the remaining land measuring 127 Kanals and 13 Marlas are under preparations with Revenue agencies.