Srinagar: The prisoners assaulted inside Delhi’s Tihar Jail by police have alleged that it was a “targeted assault on Kashmiris, especially on a prisoner named Mushtaq Ahmad”.
“They came shouting the name of Mushtaq Ahmad,” Shahid Yousuf, one of the 18 victims of the assault, told his family members who met him in Tihar Jail on Tuesday.
Shahid Yousuf, the son of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, is in Tihar Jail in judicial custody, which a special NIA court on Monday extended to December 22.
“The Tamil Nadu Special Police (TSP) had heated arguments with Mushtaq over his pillow cover. Then they started beating him and the rest of the prisoners became anxious,” Shahid’s brother, Dr Wahid, told Kashmir Reader.
“The last 15 days were tough as the TSP personnel led by SI Muthu Pandi did intense checking. Even the walls of the prisoners’ cells were dug up in a few places,” Shahid told his brother and brother-in-law during the half-hour meeting inside Tihar Jail premises.
“That day (November 21), after checking our cell, the TSP personnel left the cell and went to Mushtaq’s cell, where loud noises were heard from before the beating started,” Shahid told his family members.
Mushtaq Ahmad is in Tihar Jail as an accused in a case filed by the NIA in 2011.
“Then they returned… it was indiscriminate; I was hit on the head, kicked, and brutally beaten,” Shahid told his kin. “I saved my head with my arms and hands, which bore the brunt of the assault. There is persistent pain in my elbows and shoulder.”
Shahid told his family members that the Kashmiri prisoners “could not understand the language spoken by the TSP personnel”.
“They threw out our belongings, including mattresses, quilts and clothes, and poured water on them… they used the water that was inside our cells for our use. Then they used the empty buckets to beat us,” Shahid said.
Dr Wahid told Kashmir Reader that Shahid had swelling in his left arm, while his head, elbow joint, and shoulder were injured.
“Most of the Kashmiri prisoners had been locked up in their cells where the assault took place,” Dr Wahid quoted Shahid as having said. “It was a targeted assault and indiscriminate.”
He added that a total of nine victims were driven to AIIMS today for medical check-up and treatment. “The court has asked to see the medical certificate for ‘nature of injury’. Shahid will be taken to hospital on Wednesday,” Dr Wahid said.
Shahid had applied for bail but the court did not take it up for discussion on Monday, Dr Wahid said. “There was no discussion on the bail application at all, and the hearing on the alleged assault has been deferred till December 16,” he said.
The report submitted by a three-member committee constituted by the Delhi High Court has identified the 18 victims as Ahtisham Farooq, son of Farooq Ahmad; Hakeem, son of Abdul Kareem; Sajad, son of Siraj Ahmad; Mushtaq Ahmad, son of Abdul Hamid; Ashidullah Rehman, son of Ansur Rehman; Showkat, son of Abdul Hai; Ashutosh, son of Dina Nath; Irfan alias Cheenu, son of Meraj ud Din; Afsar, son of Mohammad Yousuf; Adnan, son of Mohammad Hussain; Sameer, son of Mufeer Ahmad; Farhan, son of Mohammad Rafiq; Sajid, son of Abdul Hamid; Mohammad Azhar Khan, son of Mohammad Taufique Khan; Imran, son of Moazzam Khan; Sajid, son of Nizam ud Din; Azimushan, son of Abdul Sattar; and Shahid Yousuf, son of Mohammad Yousuf.
The case has been listed for next hearing on December 16, after a new three-member committee led by a special judge will examine the preliminary fact-finding report and other evidence.