‘Kashmiri tortured, stripped in prison’

Abu Gharib In Kolkata?


Srinagar, Nov 1: An under trial Kashmiri youth has been allegedly tortured and stripped in the Kolkata Presidency Jail on October 15-16 after he objected to the ‘bad food’ provided there.
The family of Sheikh Farhat Mehmood, arrested in 2003 in connection with an abandoned ammunition truck, alleged that he had been tortured and kept naked in the jail throughout the night when Durga Puja was being held there.
“We came to know about it after the Hindustan Times reported the incident,” said Sheikh Wajahat, Farhat’s brother.
“The news has shocked us all. It has deeply hurt our mother who has turned depressive after hearing about Farhat’s torture.”
Farhat has been lodged in the Presidency Jail since July 2005. The family lives at Iqbal Abad in Bemina here.
The newspaper reported that Farhat had protested against the bad food in prison and demanded the basic rights in accordance with the jail rules. “Following this, Farhat observed two days hunger strike in jail. Senior officers in the jail department were kept in dark about the episode,” it said.
Sheikh Wajahat, who along with his relatives approached Greater Kashmir on Monday, said some well-wishers managed to send him the pictures of their brother being put in jail without any clothes. “The news jolted us. We are in a state of despondency,” he said.
He said it has been long since the family went to Kolkata to meet Farhat. “For so many reasons, it was not for our family to visit Kolkata often,” Wajahat said.
The family pleads that Farhat be shifted to a Srinagar jail forthwith. “We request the authorities to kindly ensure his shifting from the Kolkata jail where he has been brutally tortured,” said Wajahat.
Farhat’s father is a retired government employee.
Though the Additional Director General (Kolkata prisons), BD Sharma, didn’t respond to repeated calls from this newspaper, he has reportedly ordered an inquiry into the incident. “I shall definitely probe the matter,” BD Sharma told the Hindustan Times.
Despite repeated attempts, the Jail Superintendent, Biplas Das, could not be contacted.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 1 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 1 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 2 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST

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