Condemning the stoning to death of the Pakistani prisoner Shakir- Ullah alias Mohammed Hanif, Son of Sube Khan alias Amar Singh Gill, who was booked in case number 23/10 and serving a life sentence since 2011, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has demanded the immediate suspension of the jail staff. At present there are more than 17 Pakistani prisoners lodged in various jails of the State, including 6 in Jaipur, 2 in Jodhpur, 5 in Bikaner, 1 Kota and 3 SriGanganagar Central Jails.
This incident has happened as a part of the collapsing of the rule of law in the State and the country. First with lynchings in the name of the cow, killing Muslim farmers, then terrorizing and intimidating Kashmiri students and workers and now a Pakistani Prisoner in Jaipur is killed as a culmination of the increasing hate environment. The most recent trigger being the backdrop of the Pulwama incident after the killing of over 40 Indian Security Forces by a Jaish -e’ Mohammed fidayeen . Since the 15th of February, the State and the rest of the country are seeing the unstoppable incidents of terrorizing of the Kashmiris. In Jaipur we saw the facilitation of aggression inside college campuses, on the streets including rallies of little children and young men, shouting slogans like Pakistan Murdabad and other such venomous slogans against Kashmiris, along with social media driving the high pitched attack. And the fuelling of this hate environment by the political leadership at the highest level in the country. All this has surcharged the atmosphere with hate and tension in the city.
As a result of this we are seeing everyday the huge exodus of Kashmiri students and workers and traders back to the Kashmir part of the J & K from several cities of Rajasthan and the rest of the Country. We have seen the use of the draconian laws like Sedition and Cyber terrorism against Kashmiris and other Muslims in the state, for so called anti national acts, which were comments on social media, in the recent times.
The PUCL statement also says that, “We also saw the Bikaner District Collector, issue a bizarre order of not allowing Pakistanis to stay in the district, as if it was war time with Pakistan, sending a chilling message to several Pakistani Hindu migrants, who still carry their Pakistani Passports and are waiting to be granted citizenship. The others affected are those who are here due to marriages on both sides. Where are the visas being granted that brought in hordes of Pakistanis as tourists. This order is also a part of the hate narrative.”
Besides, PUCL states that, “And ofcourse we were shocked that at the behest of the Karni Sena the Jawahar Kala Kendra Director prevented a play from being performed at the Navras theatre festival as in a conversation had a statement against the Indian Army which was not even the message of the play, “Patharbaaz”.”
In this context, the killing of the Pakistani prisoner inside the jail shows the extent to which the hate environment has penetrated even through the walls of the prison.
The statement issued by Anant Bhatnagar and Kavita Srivsatava demands that:
· The political leadership led by the Sh. Ashok Gehlot, CM Rajasthan ensures safety and security of all the prisoners at all costs and particularly the vulnerable ones like the Pakistani and Kashmiri Prisoner who can become the victim of aggression and fights in the prison
· Strict action and suspension of the concerned jail staff and the jail superintendent, And lodging of the FIRs against theculprits.as stated in the NHRC guidelines.
· The Govt of Rajasthan and India transportation of the body of the deceased with dignity, back to his family.
· Decent compensation to the family of the prisoner.
· Lastly, the GOI must ensure the safety of all Kashmiri and Pakistani prisoners in the rest of the Jails of the State.