MLA hostel or ghost house, ask relatives of caged leaders
Srinagar: Shahriyar Khanam daughter of incarcerated former Minister and senior PDP Leader Nayeem Akhtar addressing media outside New Jail where all former Ministers, MLA's and mainstream Political Leaders were kept under detention, after her meeting with her father, in Srinagar on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019. PTI Photo by Umar Ganie
Srinagar, Nov 20:
Cries of ‘ghost house’ resonated as relatives met caged politicians at
the new detention center of MLA hostel on Wednesday.
On Sunday at least 34 political prisoners were shifted from
Centaur hotel to MLA hostel, which has been designated as sub-jail.
Government sources said the move was necessitated due to
cold weather in Kashmir and an exorbitant bill of Rs 3 crore generated in three
months for the detained leaders at the Centaur hotel.
Those shifted include Sajad Lone of People’s Conference, Ali
Mohammad Sagar of National Conference, Naeem Akhtar of PDP and former IAS
officer turned politician Shah Faesal.
“MLA hostel has been turned into ghost-house. There is
complete darkness with no facilities,” said AaliyaBano, sister of Muzaffar Shah
of Awami National Conference.
ShehriyarKhanum, daughter of former minister and PDP leader
Naeem Akhtar, said this is a defunct building which lacks basic facilities.
“There should be a hygienic place for these leaders. Toilets are in bad shape.
There are no heating arrangements and no proper lighting system,” she said
Khanum accused female staff at MLA hostel of “humiliating”
relatives of political prisoners in the name of frisking. “We don’t know what
protocol they are following,” she said.
Tanveer Veeri, brother of NC leader and former MLC Bashir
Veeri, said there are no proper heating or lighting arrangements at MLA hostel.
“There is neither heating blower nor gas heater available.
It is better if they are shifted to MLA hostel, Jammu or Central jail,” he
Relatives also complained about unhealthy food being served
“The food being served is not healthy. The rooms are not
good. There is no proper matting,” said Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmad, father of
detained Sheikh Imran, deputy Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation.
Son of detained PDP leader Sartaj Madni said families of
political leaders were being “unnecessarily harassed”. “Our vehicles are not
being allowed to go inside. We are carrying certain items which these leaders
need. How will we carry items like matting and heating appliances?” he
On last Thursday, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was
shifted from Cheshma Shahi hut to a government facility on Maulana Azad Road.
While Farooq Abdullah, who was slapped with Public Safety Act, has been detained
at his home, his son Omar Abdullah is lodged at Hari Niwas Palace, which has
been designated as sub jail.