The unfortunate and avoidable demise of jailed Kashmiri leader Altaf Ahmad Shah is really shocking, sad and speaks volumes about the continued insensitivity of the Indian Govt towards political prisoners. Despite an SC order to get him shifted from RML to AIIMS for renal cancer treatment, the Govt delayed this and killed the possibility of any effective treatment that could have been provided to the esteemed leader from J&K. This is despite the family reaching out to the Prime Minister of India and other authorities for a humane response to his medical emergency.
This goes on to prove that the government of India believes that it can get away with political murders in this heinous fashion where not only the family and immediate society but rule of law itself is made helpless in coming to the aid of political prisoners.
The BJP government believes in making death a ‘fate accompli’ is evident from this. The demise of Altaf Shah is another body blow to any possible peace process regarding the Kashmir conflict. This extra-legal murder should be condemned by Indian society and all international institutions. After the political murder of Fr. Stan Swamy in custody, that of Altaf Shah, exposes the animosity with which the government of India is dealing with the framework of human rights, in Indian jails.
PIPFPD joins the family of departed leader Altaf Shah and the people of Jammu & Kashmir in condemning the culpable negligence and indifference of the Government of India that led to the death of Mr Shah. We demand that those responsible for his death be made accountable.
We demand immediate release of all political prisoners, especially those suffering from ailments and chronic diseases. The barbarism as reflected in the killings of political prisoners must not be allowed to become a norm, tarnishing the constitution of India and rule of law.
PIPFPD India Chapter
Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace & Democracy