Bhim Singh’s appeal to SC for judicial probe into death of Pak-prisoner Shaukat Ali in Jammu jail

Prof. Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of National Panthers Party & Member of National Integration Council has filed an application before the Supreme Court of India to hold a high power judicial probe into the unfortunate and unexpected death of Pakistani prisoner, Shaukat Ali (42) on the intervening 17/18th February, 2014 in District Jail Ambphala, Jammu in J&K. The Supreme Court is hearing a Panthers Party petition for the release of foreign prisoners whose sentences either have completed or who have not been tried for years by the Govt. of J&K.

Prof. Bhim Singh said that jail conditions in J&K are worst than hell and he has personal experience in this regard as he himself has remained under detention in J&K for nearly eight years ever since 1959 by the NC-Congress Govt. He has written a letter to the Chief Justice requesting him to depute a special commission of inquiry to find out the living conditions, health care, food and lodging situation in the Districts and Central Jails in J&K. He said that the condition of detention cells and barracks are inhuman and heavily sub-stranded as compared to the conditions in other states.

Prof. Bhim Singh said that the Supreme Court had ordered shifting of all foreign under trials prisoners from J&K to other states. This order was opposed by the Govt. of J&K for reasons well-known to the State Govt. He further said that conditions of the local prisoner is no less painful and agonizing than the foreign prisoners. Prof. Bhim Singh had moved a supplementary petition in the Supreme Court on the murder of a Pakistani prisoner in Central Jail, Jammu.

The Govt. of India in its affidavit had disclosed that there were 565 Pakistan prisoners in different Indian jails. Nearly 50 of them have completed their respective sentences but they have not been released for years. He said that about 25 Pakistani prisoners are languishing in Amritsar prison who had been declared mentally challenged by the doctors. Five of them are deaf and dumb (goongas) whereas Govt. of Pakistan has refused to identify them in spite of direction of the Supreme Court on Panthers Party petition.

Prof. Bhim Singh has urged the Supreme Court that a committee of State Legal Aid Committee which is headed by him may be permitted to visit District & Central jails in J&K and other jails to find out the actual conditions prevailing in the jails and extent human rights of the prisoners are being violated. In the meantime, Prof. Bhim Singh urged the Union Govt. to take urgent measures for handing over the dead body of Late Shaukat Ali to his relatives who was resident of Sialkote, Pakistan.

Earlier, Prof. Bhim Singh has urged Shri Nawaz Sharief, the Prime Minister of Pakistan to grant him permission to visit the prisons in Pakistan to meet the Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails so that he may be able to provide them legal service. He is also sent petitions to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to allow him to argue the cases of Indian prisoners before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. A legal aid committee had already been constituted in cooperation with Pakistan based lawyers.