Srinagar, July 05, 2018 (PPI-OT): The daughters of illegally detained Hurriyat leader, Shahid-ul-Islam through a letter drew the attention of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, towards plight of their ailing father and other Hurriyat leaders languishing in New Delhi’s notorious Tihar jail.
The letter written by Shahidul Islam’s two daughter – Suzanne Shah and Sundas Shah – says, “Our father, a prominent political leader, is known for his pro-dialogue stance aimed at peaceful settlement of Kashmir… We never expected that peace-loving and moderate voices like him, will be treated so shabbily in the world’s largest democracy.
Following are some excerpts from the letter:
“It was after eleven long months of a life like that of orphans, that we two sisters were able to see our beloved father – Advocate Aftab Hilali Shah aka Shahid-ul-Islam… presently languishing in Tihar Jail New Delhi.”
“Thanks to God, the Almighty and then to our mother, a source of strength to us in these testing times, who motivated our Daddy to allow us meet him in the jail. Despite our strong desire, Daddy was reluctant to meet us there. We could realize the reasons of his reluctance only when we had his first glimpse. We were shocked to see him in a very bad shape and worn out as he stood on the other side of a thick glass wall in between.”
“Leave alone touching him, the glass wall was too thick to let our words reach him. One intercom in the poorly-ventilated room was the only means to converse. We could barely recognize him. A diabetic with hypertension, arthritis, the frail and pale looking dad has already lost 15 kgs of weight, because of denial of medical care. We were told. It was but natural that our eyes welled up with tears as we could not bear with seeing his sunken eyes. We could only feel his helplessness as he could not plant a kiss on our foreheads, his usual expression of love for us. We too felt very bad in absence of a physical contact with our loving and caring dad!”
“During the 30 minutes telephonic interaction, we came to know that during this scorching heat of around 45 degrees C, he sleeps on the hard floor …. Exposed to insect bites, as marks were visible on his face, he doesn’t even have a pillow to get proper sleep. Confined to the walls of 8×6 feet cell of High-Risk Ward of Tihar Jail, he has been kept with criminals and drug addicts, which exposes him to obvious threat to his life. But then, even meeting Daddy couldn’t end without horror. When we’re still to finish our conversation with him, the phone line snapped and the lights went off.”
“Not even a whisper from Daddy, it was all dark around as we stood dumbstruck, someone shouted time is over. Thus we were denied even a chance to say goodbye to our Dad! We pray that no daughters have to visit Tihar again. Aamin!”
“Sir, this is the sad story of our father and other Hurriyat leaders presently lodged in Tihar Jail. For us our home is like a prison, while Daddy has been jailed for months, with none of the allegations levelled against him having been proved.”
For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549