150 Pakistani, Kashmiri militants shifted from J&K to outside jails

Centre, J&K act tough to stop radicalization
*Were running network from inside prisons

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Sept 7: To effectively check deradicalization of prisoners in Jammu and Kashmir jails especially by the Pakistani militants, 150 detenues including Pakistanis, Kashmiris and some from Jammu division have been shifted to outside jails in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and New Delhi from the Union Territory.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had circulated series of measures to States and Union Territories including Jammu and Kashmir to check radicalization of detenues inside the jails and take steps to ensure that prisons are not misused by the militants to carry out their networks from inside.
Recently, Jammu Police came across a case in which a Pakistani militant was facilitating movement of drones from Pakistan border to Jammu in which arms, ammunition, explosives and narcotics were being smuggled.
He was taken to the International Border in Arnia and Phallain Mandal where he was injured while trying to escape and later succumbed to the injuries. Another militant involved in masterminding drone movement along the International Border in Kathua had died of cardiac arrest in Kot Bhalwal jail.
Official sources told the Excelsior that 150 militants, separatists and Public Safety Act (PSA) detainees have been shifted out of Jammu and Kashmir jails and lodged in Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi and Haryana prisons.
“Majority of the militants shifted from Jammu and Kashmir were lodged in high-security Kot Bhalwal jail under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA),” sources said, adding that shifting of Pakistani militants outside will help overcome radicalization of other detenues as well as carrying out militant activities from inside the prison through mobile telephones etc.
The Jail authorities in Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi and Haryana have been asked to completely segregate the Pakistani and Kashmiri militants besides the PSA detenues to ensure that they are not able to meet each other.
Even within the jails of Jammu and Kashmir, strict instructions have been issued to segregate the militants and effectively ensure that the militants don’t get access to any mode of communication including mobile telephones in the jails.
A number of times, Jail authorities and police have seized mobile telephones and SIM cards from the possession of detenues including Pakistani and Kashmiri militants in Kot Bhalwal jail.
“Mainly those separatists and militants are being shifted to outside jails who the administration feels could radicalize ordinary criminals in the prisons or those who could instigate subversive activities from inside the jails using mobile telephones and Social Media,” sources said.
They added that the process will continue and lists of more separatists and militants are being prepared for shifting from Jammu and Kashmir jails to outside.
Security agencies have reportedly decided that hardcore militants and criminals will not be allowed to stay in one jail for a long time as they might develop their network even there with the help of criminals lodged in their barracks. They will, therefore, continue to be relocated.
“Besides breaking network of the militants being run from the prisons, if any, the move will also act as deterrence for future,” the sources said.
Many top separatist leaders of Kashmir have already been lodged in Tihar jail at New Delhi for past quite some time.
An order issued by the MHA had called for conducting regular inspection of prisons, strengthening security arrangements and implementing effective administration to ensure that the jails are not misused to become breeding ground for anti-national activities.
The MHA ordered restrictions on unnecessary movement of prison staff in and out of the jail. For the purpose, a proper entry and exit registers of jail staff should be maintained., it said.
It may be mentioned that Intelligence agencies were of the view that it was very difficult to smuggle mobile telephones, SIM cards and other materials found in possession of the militants and hardcore criminals, without connivance of the jail staff.
The MHA had called for ensuring effective jamming solutions with the use of modern-day advances in technology to restrict use of mobile phones by inmates. It also suggested that first time offenders and repeat offenders should be segregated and housed in separate wards or prison complexes with a view to ensure that habitual offenders are not able to negatively influence the first time offenders.