February 2018 News

40 Terror Inmates Shifted Out Of Srinagar

27 February 2018

Srinagar: As many as 40 terrorists and their sympathisers, including Pakistani national Zia Mustafa involved in the 2003 Nadimarg massacre of Kashmiri Pandits, were shifted today from the Central Jail here to prisons outside the Valley, a step taken after the dramatic escape of LeT's Mohammed Naveed Jutt from a hospital earlier this month. The state Prisons Department chalked out a list of these terrorists and sympathisers in the Central Jail and immediately a movement order for shifting them was initiated, officials said here. Three Pakistani terrorists, including Mustafa, were among those shifted to various jails outside the Kashmir valley, they said. The state Home Department, which had ignored earlier requests for the shifting of these prisoners, took the decision after an internal inquiry pointed out a 'casual approach' being adopted by the department. The Union Home Ministry had also come down heavily on the state government and directed it to fully review security measures in place in jails and transportation of inmates. Among other prisoners shifted were over-ground worker of Lashkar-e-Toiba Ashfaq Ahmad Bhat, a terrorist of the same group Mohammad Aslam Malik, dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Amir Nahi Wagey and another Pakistani terrorist Abdul Razak Baloch. Shifting of hardened prisoners came after the escape of Jutt, who was lodged in the Srinagar Central Jail. After the embarrassment, the state Home Department issued instructions to the review security of hardened terrorists lodged in the Srinagar Central Jail and directed that they be moved to other jails and kept in isolation. SK Mishra, then Director General (Prisons), had several communications with the state Home Department, asking it to shift hardened terrorists and their sympathisers from the Srinagar Central Jail as they were vitiating the atmosphere inside the prison and indulging in indoctrination of several undertrials. An internal probe has brought to the fore lapses at different stages, especially the failure of the prosecution wing of the J&KPolice as well as the state Home Department in addressing the genuine issues related to the Prisons Department. In November last year, a communication marked as 'urgent' was sent to the Principal Secretary (Home) by then DGP Mishra, asking him to shift some prisoners, including Jutt, to a jail in the Jammu division. It had also highlighted the need to segregate them from each other completely. 'This will help prevent the deteriorating security atmosphere in the Valley and indoctrination of young offenders,' Mishra had said in the letter. Mishra made another attempt in January when he shot off another letter to the Principal Secretary, Home, in which he highlighted that the presence of Pakistani hardcore terrorists was hampering the smooth functioning of jails in the Kashmir valley.