January 2002 News

No hard-core foreign mercenary will be detained in J&K prisons anymore

11 January 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Mohinder Verma

Jammu: No foreign mercenary will be detained in the prisons of Jammu and Kashmir State anymore and in future after their arrest they will be shifted to prisons outside the State. Even those already kept detained in State were being shifted to outside the states. Highly placed sources told EXCELSIOR that decision to this effect was taken by the State Government keeping in view the security considerations. ''The State Government is not in favour of keeping detained hardcore foreign terrorists in the prisons of Jammu and Kashmir and directions from the Union Home Ministry in this regard could not be ruled out'', the sources said. ''The State Government wants that all those foreign mercenaries which will be arrested or nabbed in future would be shifted to prisons outside the State'', the sources informed and said that the process of shifting already detained terrorists and Hurriyat leaders is underway. What provoked the State Government to embark upon this idea, they said, is the strong network between detained terrorists and their sympathisers in the State and added that the detained hard-core foreign mercenaries as well as their sympathisers outside the prisons have developed such a strong network that they could easily pass-on important information to their mentors. ''One of the reason is also that these hard-core detained terrorists have become familiar with the topography of prisons and other areas the credit of which goes to their routine shifting from prison to courts and hospitals for treatments'', the sources said, adding ''nodoubt these detenues have caused much destruction in the prisons and their attitude is boosting the morale of lesser destructive terrorists''. The recent intelligence reports, the sources said, have disclosed that the detained terrorists and their sympathisers continue to strengthen their network by every passing day which could pose security threat to the State. Meanwhile, the Prison Department is planning to shift another batch of detained foreign mercenaries to outside the state before January 26. This batch will include Hurriyat leaders detained under Public Safety Act (PSA) and out of 35 remaining foreign and hard-core terrorists in Kot Bhalwal Jail around 20 will be included in this batch followed by remaining in third batch. ''With the shifting of these detenues the atmosphere in the prisons will become peaceful and the loss to the Prison Department will ultimately reduce'', the sources said, adding ''in some jails wedge between foreign and local mercenaries have come to the fore which also poses security threat''. It may be recalled that on December 25, first batch of around 100 terrorists included foreigners and Al-Qaeda members were shifted to a number of prisons outside the State. The jails selected for detaining these terrorists are Naini Jail in Uttar Pradesh, Agra Jail, Banaras Jail, Hazuribagh Jail and Jodhpur Jail etc. When contacted Home Secretary Mr C Phunsog disclosed that State Government has decided to shift all detained hard-core foreign terrorists to the prisons in other states. ''The decision is taken by State Government on its own due to security consideration and prison departments of other states were contacted in this regard'', he further said.


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