Published by Kashmir News Trust
Srinagar, Aug 16, 2017 /5:42 pm
“The incarcerated Ameer of Muslim Deeni Mahaz Dr Muhammad Qasim’s health is deteriorating with each passing day.
He was taken to hospital on Thursday for visual fielding as he is suffering from glaucoma from last ten years and has lost most of his vision. In addition to this he has multiple back discs and has duodenum ulceration, his deterioration of health at alarming pace is matter of serious concern for his disciples and well wishers,” Muslim Deeni Mahaz said in a statement today.
The party has appealed world human rights organizations to look into the matter and start a concentrated effort to secure his release.
Dr Muhammad Qasim’s spouse Asiyah Andrabi is also suffering from various ailments in jammu jail.
Pertinently, Dr Muhammad Qasim completed 24 years of imprisonment in April this year.
Qasim was arrested on February 5, 1993 and booked under section 3 (TADA), under section 302 r/w 120-B RPC. TADA Court Jammu acquitted him and other two accused in the case on July 14, 2001 and made the following observation: “The prosecution has miserably failed to prove the case against the accused persons.”
The Government challenged the acquittal in the Supreme Court which sentenced him to life imprisonment with this direction at the end of the judgment: “They (accused) shall be given benefit of the period already undergone (undertrial period) by them.”
On completion of 14 years, J&K High Court directed the Jail authorities to place Dr Muhammad Qasim’s case before the Review Board for review of his case. The
Review Board while taking into consideration all aspects of the case recommended premature release of Dr Qasim in its meeting held on June 6, 2008.
The J&K Government rejected the Review Board’s Recommendations not on the basis of interpretation of the life imprisonment that life imprisonment means imprisonment of convicts whole natural life but on the basis of J&K Jail Manual Rule 54.1 which, according to Government, debars TADA lifer convicts from release on completion of two-third (14 years) of 20 years.
The J&K High Court quashed the impugned order and directed the Government to consider the case on the basis of J&K Jail Manual “Keeping in view the discussion made hereinabove read with law laid down by the Apex Court, the respondents had to consider the case of the petitioner in terms of the Jail Manual and lay laid down by the Apex Court. Viewed thus, the writ petition is allowed impugned order is quashed and respondents are directed to consider the case of the petitioner as indicated above and made a decision,” the OWP No. 997/2009 dated June 5, 2010 states.
The Government challenged the order before the double bench of the High Court which observed that “the petition as highlighted warrants favourable consideration but impediment in the way of respondent (writ petitioner) is the scope of Rule 54.1 of the JK Jail Manual which orders him ineligible.”
Advocate Sayeed Tasaduq Hussain said: “Dr Muhammad Qasim is an outstanding political ideologue and writer of contemporary Kashmir, is suffering incarceration for holding political beliefs that are unacceptable to the ruling establishment.”
Dr Muhammad Qasim was born in Zaldagar, Srinagar on November 13, 1967. He is married to Dukhtaran-e-Millat Chief Aasiya Andrabi. He has a doctorate in Islamic Studies and has authored and edited 19 books (5 in English and 14 in Urdu).
He joined Hizbul Mujahideen in 1989 as its spokesperson. He was arrested in 1993 in connection with the murder of HN Wanchoo. Dr Qasim was granted bail in March 1999 but re-arrested in February 2000. He was acquitted by the TADA Court in July 2001. He appeared before the TADA Court in January 2002. In January 2003, the Supreme Court awarded life imprisonment to him. Dr Qasim founded the Muslim Deeni Mahaz in 2000.