The National Conference on Sunday asked the government to release jailed Kashmiri youths lodged in prisons in different parts of the country. Party leader and Lok Sabha MP Hasnain Masoodi said while it was “quite gladdening” to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting his mother at her residence in Gandhinagar as she entered the 100th year of her life, there are parents whose sons continue to remain out of sight for them for years altogether.
“Such reunions are heart-warming indeed. However, numerous mothers in Kashmir continue to long for a glimpse of their sons. The never-ending wait has taken a toll on their mental and physical health. There is no way these mothers, who are pining to meet their sons, lodged in faraway jails can meet their sons,” he said.
The NC leader said most of the unfortunate families are too poor to travel long distances to meet their incarcerated children. “Others who can afford are not allowed to take on such long-distance travel due to various health predicaments. All such families, particularly the mothers, continue to live in never-ending deprivation.
“All they have been asking the government is to release their sons immediately as they are old and infirm and not in a condition to travel long distances. They believe that a son in PM Modi will understand their pain,” he said. Masoodi said most of the youngsters are detained without any charge or trial.
“There are various judicial pronouncements commanding the government to lodge detainees near to their homes so that their relatives could visit them. The lack of opportunity to have intermittent interactions with their relatives is equally painful for them and their families, particularly their mothers. “It is to be mentioned that these detainees aren't kept from their basic rights. They have a right to meet their family members at reasonable intervals. In the case of Kashmiri detainees, such constitutional rights usually stand defeated,” he said.
Asking the government to revoke the detention of such Kashmiri youths who have been held on mere suspicion or have been first-time offenders, Masoodi said impending their release, these detainees languishing in different jails across the country should be brought back to J-K and lodged in jails in Kashmir. The measure will provide respite to their parents, he added.