ISLAMABAD - Amina Malik, sister of JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, on Saturday said her brother was being tortured in detention and had been put on a slow death trial by the Indian government. Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, Amina said that Yasin Malik was arrested on February 22, 2019 from his residence in Maisuma area of Srinagar under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) and sent to Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu.
She said he was kept in solitary confinement at the jail for one month or so and then was taken into custody by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) on baseless and fabricated charges. ”He was shifted to New Delhi and tortured at the NIA headquarters,” Kashmir Media Service quoted Amina as saying.
She said Yasin Malik went on a hunger strike against the NIA’s brutal attitude and after he became seriously ill was shifted to a Delhi hospital and from there NIA court sent him to Tihar jail on judicial remand that still continues. She said that after his shifting to Tihar jail, he was kept in high security ward for many days in solitary confinement and was not provided any medicine and other necessary things.
Amina said that d uring torture at NIA headquarters, one of eyes of Yasin Malik was seriously injured and a clot still remains in his eye. “Our lawyer Raja Tufail moved the court to shift him to some other ward and provide him with proper medical facilities. Though the court didn’t accept the plea, but Yasin Malik was shifted to another ward probably to hoodwink the court as well as the human rights advocates and organisations,” she added.
She said Yasin Malik was nowadays being kept in a solitary confinement in barrack No 7 of notorious Tihar Jail for the last four months. “No other inmate is allowed to even talk to him from a distance,” sister of Yasin Malik said, and added that books, journals and even newspapers were being denied to her brother. “Being a heart patient, he needs certain life-saving drugs which are either not provided to him or even if provided, provided after delay,” Amina lamented.
Amina said Yasin had undergone a heart valve transplant surgery in 1992, adding, he was also suffering from certain serious ailments related to vital organs of his body, including kidneys. She said that at Tihar jail he had developed a slipped Disc/ herniated disc due to which he was suffering from severe back pain. “One if his ears that had been operated upon in the US a few years ago has developed an infection that is further aggravating his physical agony,” she deplored.
She said her brother had been exposed to a high voltage bulb fixed to the ceiling of his cell that remained on 24/7. “The bulb has damaged his eyesight, turning his eyes red and he is barely able to read things,” Amina said, and added, “NIA is leveling baseless allegations on him that he has properties etc. We want to ask them to show these properties and prove their false allegations. Yasin Malik is an open book and everyone knows what he has and what not,” she maintained.
Amina Malik said, “Despite all these medical complicacies, my brother, Muhammad Yasin Malik, is neither being provided with any medical facility that is actually guaranteed to a prisoner nor is his solitary confinement ending despite many of our pleas to the court. It seems that some hidden or unspoken orders by rulers and their agencies have been given to Tihar Jail authorities to put my brother in more and more trouble and inflict more miseries on him.”
She said that the situation was such that she, during her last visit to the jail on July 26, 2019, asked the jail authorities to allow a bed sheet to him so that he could put it on cemented floor to overcome his back pain, but that too was refused. “The apathy of rulers and jail authorities towards Yasin Malik is actually like killing him slowly and today I appeal to everyone with conscience and humanity, to speak against this undemocratic, inhuman and tyrannical attitude of the Indian authorities,” she added.
She said that Yasin’s lawyer, Raja Tufail, recently submitted a bail application before the court that there are no specific allegations against Yasin and that he had been languishing in judicial custody for a long time. “The application further said that nothing was recovered from Yasin and that his further custody would serve no purpose,” Amina told media.
She said the lawyer had also informed the court about the non-provision of proper medical facilities to Yasin, and also about his continuing solitary confinement for the last four months. “The lawyer has requested the court to graciously grant bail to Yasin in the present case or pass any other order that it may deem fit, keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the present case,” she maintained. She said that on August 1, 2019 was the hearing of this case but ironically the NIA made lame excuses to seek another date to submit its reply. “The next hearing is scheduled for August 14, 2019,” Yasin Malik’s sister told media.
Amina said, “We only want to ask the Indian authorities that if they want to keep Yasin, a peaceful political leader, in jail, do keep him but you have no right to deny him a proper treatment and medical care according to established laws and norms.”