More separatists, militants to be moved out of J&K jails

Centre to go ahead with crackdown
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, July 4: Continuing with crackdown against separatists and militants, the Central Government is reported to have decided to shift more separatists and militants, mostly Pakistanis, out of Jammu and Kashmir and lodge them in the jails at New Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The decision comes on the basis of specific Intelligence inputs that stay of some of the separatists and Pakistani and Kashmiri militants in Jammu and Kashmir jails wasn’t appropriate,” official sources told the Excelsior.
However, in view of strict surveillance, installation of sophisticated gadgetry and other steps initiated by the Prisons Department, activities of separatists and militants including both Pakistanis and Kashmiri have been contained to quite an extent but it wasn’t possible for the Jail authorities from preventing meetings between family members, relatives and close contacts and, in their guise, some unwanted elements could also manage to meet the detenues.
Sources said the Central and State Intelligence agencies were in constant touch with each other and Multi Disciplinary Terror Monitoring Group was also watching activities of separatists and some of the Pakistani as well as Kashmiri militants lodged in different jails of the State.
A senior official said it was policy decision of the Central Government to shift separatists and hardcore militants outside Jammu and Kashmir and lodge them in the jails in other States. “The process is on and shifting will take place depending on case to case,” he added. Earlier, he said, in April-May, some separatists and militants were shifted from J&K to the jails outside.
“The Central Government was of the view that nearly two dozen more militants and separatists were required to be moved out of the Jammu and Kashmir jails and lodged outside to completely curb their activities,” they said, adding that process of shifting could take place shortly.
The Government, according to sources, proposed to shift the identified separatists and militants to Tihar, Jhansi, Udaipur and Agra jails.
Only few days back, Hurriyat Conference leader and separatist Masrat Alam was shifted out of Ambphalla Jail in Jammu and lodged in Tihar jail of New Delhi, where he was facing charges leveled on him by the National Investigating Agency. Another separatist Shabir Shah is also lodged in Tihar jail.
“Even within the jails, it was being ensured that the militants and separatists are segregated in such a way that they are not able to meet each other,” sources said.
They added that identity of the Pakistani and Kashmiri militants and separatists proposed to be shifted out of Jammu and Kashmir has been kept as secret and only their family members will be briefed the day they are moved of the State jails and lodged outside.
Authorities of the jails where the Government proposed to shift the separatists and militants would be sounded to intensify security arrangements and keep strict vigil on the visitors especially those coming to meet them.
The Intelligence agencies were of the view that only family members would visit the separatists or Kashmiri militants in the far off jails and this way their contact with “unwanted persons” will be easily avoided, which was the main purpose of taking them out of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Government had taken series of measures to curb activities of separatists and militants inside the jails including short term and long term after the escape of hardcore Pakistani militant Naved Jutt from a hospital in Srinagar when he was being taken for treatment from the jail in February last year. Jutt was, however, killed in November i.e. within nine months of his escape.
Sources expressed satisfaction with fool-proof security arrangements in the jails of Jammu and Kashmir for both Pakistani and Kashmiri militants as well as separatists but said the shifting was only aimed at keeping them away from the home State to avoid their contact with “undesirable elements” to ensure that they don’t manage to instigate the people.