J&K wants 7 Pak militants lodged in Tihar jail

J&K wants 7 Pak militants lodged in Tihar jail

A bench of Justices L N Rao and M R Shah sought a response from Centre and the Delhi government on the plea.

The Jammu and Kashmir government Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking the transfer of seven Pakistani militants from Jammu jail to Tihar prison here on the grounds that they were allegedly indoctrinating local prisoners.

A bench of Justices L N Rao and M R Shah sought a response from Centre and the Delhi government on the plea.

Jammu and Kashmir government’s standing counsel Shoeb Alam said militants belonging to various organisations need to be shifted out of Jammu jail as they were involved in the indoctrination of local prisoners.

If not Tihar, they can be shifted to other high-security prisons in Haryana and Punjab, he said.

To this, the bench said it will hear the matter and asked Alam to ensure that a copy of the notice is served to the seven militants also.

A day after the Pulwama attack on February 14 in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, the Jammu and Kashmir government had moved the apex court to shift a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant, Zahid Farooq, out of Jammu jail.

Farooq was arrested by forces while trying to cross the border security fence on May 19, 2016.

The state government had said intelligence inputs received indicated that militants belonging to outfits like Jaish-e-Muhammad and LeT are indoctrinating the minds of other inmates lodged in the prison.

It was reliably learnt that the prisoner and other individuals have considerable local support and it cannot be ruled out that they may be receiving information, resources as well as other help to carry out militancy-related activities, the state government added.

The state also sought shifting of the trial to Delhi saying it apprehends that transporting the militant to court and back to prison poses a threat to escorting policemen and common public.

Alam had cited an example of an attack on a police party last year when policemen were killed and a Pakistani militant prisoner was freed from custody while on a hospital visit.

Farooq’s transfer from his current prison in Jammu and Kashmir to a high-security prison outside the state is in the interest of national security, the government had said.

“Foreign prisoners like the private respondent are radicalising and brainwashing local Kashmiri youth in prison. There is a concentration of prisoners with similar backgrounds and linkages to militant organisations in local prisons in J&K,” it had said.