The Democratic Freedom Party Sunday sought a clarification from the government over reports that its incarcerated chief Shabir Ahmed Shah was allegedly attacked in New Delhi's Tihar jail.
Addressing a press conference here, DFP's general secretary Muhammad Abdullah Tari and spokesman Bashir Azim said the family members of Shah were in tremendous stress in the wake of reports that the party chief was attacked in Tihar.
"The jail authorities and the government of India have been maintaining a criminal silence over the fate of DFP chairman's condition. Even the lawyer of Shah is not able to find out the actual situation," Tari said. "Since Saturday, rumours are making rounds that something untoward has happened in Tihar and Shah was attacked".
Tari urged the Tihar jail authorities to "come clean" on Shah's health and whether any attack on him had taken place.
The DFP also stated that naming Shah in the category of those whose security has been withdrawn was a "mockery" as he has been in Tihar jail for the past more than a year and never enjoyed any security cover.
Speaking on the occasion, Azim said that Shah has always been on the forefront of the ongoing movement for right to self-determination and "will never compromise on his stand".
He expressed his concern over "back-to-back advisories being issued by the government", stating that that "an atmosphere of fear has been created across Kashmir by the government".
Earlier, Ruwa Shah, daughter of incarcerated Altaf Shah, wrote on twitter: "My father, Altaf Shah, was injured yesterday in Tihar jail after a tile fell off the washroom wall and hit his head. This snowballed into a rumour about Shabir Shah because of the same surnames. Shabirsb is fine. Altafsb has got a minor injury".
The central government said Sunday that separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah was absolutely "fit and fine" as were other inmates from Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan lodged in Delhi's Tihar jail.
The ministry of home affairs released a statement following rumours over the health of the separatist leader, lodged in the Tihar jail since his arrest on July 25, 2017 in a case related to the alleged recovery of huge amount of cash.
Tihar prison authorities have denied occurrence of any untoward incident or mishap involving Shah, the government statement said.
Refuting fake news circulating in a section of media, deputy inspector general (DIG) of Tihar prison ShailendraParihar said, "Shah is absolutely fit and fine".
"All other inmates from Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan are also fine," he said, adding the prison authorities appealed to all to be cautious against fake news. On Saturday, a Delhi court deferred the hearing on a bail plea of Shah till April 2. The application was moved before the court on the grounds of parity after the Delhi High Court recently granted bail to co-accused Mohammad AslamWani in the decade-old case. (With PTI inputs)