Mehbooba Mufti pitches for release of political prisoners

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has urged the Centre to help her in the release of political prisoners whose health is deteriorating in prisons and also shift Kashmiri inmates from Tihar Jail to J&K prisons to help make the atmosphere tension-free in the state.
Official sources said upset over the recent incident of thrashing of Kashmiri inmates, including Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin’s son Shahid Yousuf, in Tihar Jail by personnel of the Tamil Nadu Police, the Chief Minister had urged the Union Home Ministry to shift all inmates to Jammu and Kashmir prisons.
At a police function in Kathua last week, Mehbooba publicly denounced the incident as “unacceptable” and described it as bad publicity for the Indian values of honouring the dignity of prisoners. She had spoken to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba about the incident and expressed her serious concern.
Sources said Mehbooba was worried about the fallout of the continued arrest of the political leaders whose health was deteriorating in jails. She has communicated to the MHA that steps should be taken to release them as the Centre had done in case of stone throwers. She recently ordered withdrawal of 744 cases against 4,327 stone throwers to make them part of normal life in Kashmir.
Mehbooba has also championed the cause of fair and dignified rehabilitation of former stone throwers.
Sources said the communication was on between the Centre and the state government in this regard.
Many groups, including separatists and the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Nationalist Party chief Ghulam Hassan Mir, have already demanded that the political prisoners should be set free to build upon the atmosphere of reconciliation which is currently underway in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mehbooba gives job letters to pellet victims

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday distributed appointment letters among a group of victims who lost their eyesight due to pellet injuries during law-and-order situations in the Valley last year. A government spokesman said this was in continuation of her earlier measures taken for the rehabilitation of the victims of violence during the unrest of last year. The PDP said rehabilitation of victims of unrest had been a deep concern for the Chief Minister and providing resource and support to the most affected persons was her desire.