A 65-year-old detenu, a member of the banned Jamaat-I-Islamia, booked under the stringent Public Safety Act and sent outside Jammu and Kashmir has died in a jail at Allahabad, officials said on Sunday.
Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, a resident of Kulangam in frontier district of Handwara in North Kashmir, was among hundreds of people detained under the PSA immediately after the Centre abrogated special status of J-K on August 5 and divided it into two union territories — Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
The PSA slapped on Bhat, an active member of the banned Jamaat-I-Islamia, was to end on January 9 next year, they said.
Bhat was suffering from various ailments and breathed his last at the Naini central jail on Saturday at 4 PM, the officials said, adding his body was airlifted and brought here and handed over to the family for burial.
Two cases — one in 2016 and another this year — were registered against him under various sections of the law including those under the anti-terror law Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act.
Reacting to the news, the official twitter handle of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, which is being operated by her daughter Iltija, condemned the incident and said Bhat is the first Kashmiri political detainee to have died at a jail outside Kashmir. “MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) has blood on its hands and must be held accountable.”
Around 300 political detenues, held under the PSA, were shifted out of the Kashmir Valley post August 5 and lodged in various jails of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
The PSA has also been slapped on former state chief minister Farooq Abdullah, who is a sitting member of Lok Sabha. He has been kept at his residence.
Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, another former chief minister, have been kept under preventive detention since August 5.