Srinagar: A day after senior separatist leader Shabir Ahmed Shah moved to Delhi High Court seeking separate cell for him in Tihar Jail, his family back in Kashmir says they are very perturbed on hearing the increase surge of COVID-19 positive cases at Tihar Jail.
Dr Bilquese, the better-half of incarcerated Shabir Ahmed Shah, told news agency KNT that she received a call from her husband Shabir Shah and came to know that he is very sick there. “Being co-morbid having diabetes, hypertension, IHD arthritis, his immune system has gone very weak as he has been in jail continuously from last three and half years and is not getting proper diet also. Also due to COVID lock down, the family has not been able to see him since February 20.”
She said Tihar Jail is not fully equipped to deal with COVID-19 pandemic where even a paracetamol tablet is not available. “It is really worrying that many prisoners, jail staff and even one Jail Superintendent have been tested positive for COVID-19 in the jail. Staff and kitchen services are same for COVID and non COVID patients,” she said.
Dr Bilquese said that her husband is sick but nobody attends him due to COVID scare. “Yes, we can understand that. This thing is happening almost everywhere. Everyone is helpless. But then everyone has right to live. One can have differences of opinion but that doesn’t mean he or she has no right to live. When, due to this pandemic, prisoners are being released on parole across globe, why Kashmiri prisoners who are under trials are still languishing in jails,” she said adding that even criminals in Tihar Jail have been released on parole.
“If authorities don’t want to release them, at least they should be shifted to their native region.”
“Shift Shabir Shah to Jammu if not to Kashmir till this pandemic is contained. We will have every reason to believe that it will be cold blooded murder if something untoward happens to Shabir Shah inside the jail. We are very concerned about his condition and die every day while thinking of his present state,” Dr Bilquese told KNT