Mr. Jitender Singh Tomar
Minister for Law and Justice
Room no. 808 at level 8th
New Delhi – 110002
Subject: Drawing attention to assault on a prisoner in Tihar Jail
This is to bring to your attention an attack on a Kashmiri prisoner in Tihar’s Jail No 3 on March 28th, 2015. The prisoner Wasim Ahman Malik was beaten inside Jail No 3 by the jail staff. It is to be noted that along with Wasim Ahman Malik two other Kashmiri prisoners Farooq Ahmad, Mohammad Shafi were also assaulted in Jail number 3. Custodial violence on prisoners in Tihar is not unknown. However it is more so in the case of Kashmiri prisoners inside Tihar jail.
Wasim Ahman Malik, an MBBS student, is facing trial in the September 7, 2011 Delhi High Court blast case. While pursuing his studies, Wasim Malik was detained by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) in connection with the case on October 4, 2011. Wasim alleged that he had been tortured while in NIA's custody. PUDR had tried to intervene in this matter on the basis of a complaint filed by his father.
While Wasim's father is running from pillar to post to get justice for his son, Wasim's very life seems to be in danger inside Tihar. Not only is Tihar jail notorious for corruption but also for routine violations of prisoner's rights. This is borne out by the many custodial deaths in Tihar, two already in the current year. It is the duty of the jail authorities and the government to ensure the well-being of jail inmates. In fact the Delhi Prisons Act (2000) states that it is the duty of the prison to maintain 'minimum standards of treatment of prisoners consistent with the principles of dignity of individuals'. Instead of abiding by these guidelines, PUDR's experience with conditions inside Tihar jail reveals a picture of apathy and abuse. This maltreatment is particularly glaring with respect to Kashmiri prisoners. The incident involving Wasim Malik simply attests to this fact.
We request your office to enquire into this matter and punish the policemen responsible and furthermore to ensure an atmosphere of safety for prisoners inside Tihar Jail.
Sharmila Purkayastha & Megha Bahl