Free-hand given to Lal Singh exposes BJP’s mindset: Kashmir High Court Bar Association

Srinagar, May 30: Kashmir High Court Bar Association Srinagar on Wednesday expressed its deep concern over the endorsement of BJP top brass in giving “free hand” to formed Minister Lal Singh for galvanizing support and intensifying campaign for a CBI probe in the kidnapping, gang rape and murder of an 8-year-old Nomad girl of Kathua, after she was kept captive in a temple for a week.

In a statement issued here, the lawyers’ body described it as shameful for those, who are ruling in Delhi and J&K State and are supposed to uphold the rule of law but are covertly and overtly extending their support to the criminals, who are involved in the aforesaid kidnapping, gang rape and brutal murder of the minor girl.

“At a time when the matter is pending in a court of law at Pathankote and the proceedings of the case are going to be held on day-to-day basis from Thursday the 31st of May, in pursuance of the judgment of the Supreme Court, giving free hand to Lal Singh and endorsing his demand of having a CBI probe in the matter and that too after the filing of a challan in the court of law, clearly exposes he mindset of the BJP leadership and its local cadre, of which notice deserves to be taken by all those, who believe in fair trial and justice and also punishing of those who commit violent acts against women and thereafter by communalizing and politicizing the matter, try to avoid the clutches of law, on one pretext or the other.”

Meanwhile, the lawyers’ body paid rich tributes were paid to Asiya and Nelofar, “who were also raped and murdered” in 2009 at Shopian and while describing the investigation conducted in the case by the CBI as unfair and unjust. Bar decided to support any move of the family in taking the matter to the International Court of Justice and to provide all kind of legal assistance in that regard to them, it said.

The Bar Association also condemned the continued detention of Asiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen and Fehmeeda Sofi, who were arrested at Anantnag on 20 April 2018 and despite having been granted bail by the Court at Anantnag and Srinagar, have not been released so far and have been booked in one or the other “fictitious” case to make their release impossible. “It was stated that under law, a woman is entitled to bail as a matter of right and she cannot be held in custody, after she is granted bail by a court of competent jurisdiction. Since there is no rule of law in the State of J&K, therefore, the women are the worst sufferers in the State as they are not only being subjugated but are also being kept behind the bars against the settled principles of law, as also without establishing the guilt against them in a court of law, which is a clear violation of their Human Rights.”

The lawyers’ body also condemned the treatment meted out to the Kashmiri prisoners lodged in Tihar Jail “who are being targeted psychologically by either confining them in small cells or in big wards alongwith other criminals, who off and on harass and humiliate them and make their stay in the jail uncomfortable and troublesome.”

It demanded that all the Kashmiri prisoners lodged in Tihar Jail should be lodged in a single barrack or at least in barracks separate from those barracks, where the prisoners, who are accused of commission of heinous crimes are kept.

The lawyers’ body also requested the International Red Cross, Amnesty International, Asia Watch and other Human Rights Organizations of the World, to send their teams to Kashmir, so that they visit the jails, where Kashmiri prisoners have been lodged and “see for themselves as to what kind of treatment is being meted out to them by the jail authorities and how those authorities are not honoring the orders of the court and are holding the Kashmiri prisoners of conscience in custody in contempt of the orders of the Court.”

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