A member of the banned Jamaat-i-Islami Jammu and Kashmir who had been detained under the Public Safety Act has died in a prison in Allahabad, PTI reported. Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, 65, was suffering from various ailments and died on Saturday evening, officials said.
Bhat, a resident of Handwara in Kupwara district, had been detained under the Public Safety Act soon after the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status on August 5. His detention at Allahabad’s Naini Central Jail was scheduled to end on January 9, 2020, officials said.
Bhat’s body was airlifted to Srinagar and was handed over to his family for burial.
Bhat’s son Haneef Mohammad told The Indian Express that his father had appeared before police on July 16 and was later shifted outside the state. The family said it was informed about Bhat’s ill-health on Friday evening. “Early Saturday morning, I was sent to Uttar Pradesh,” he said. “As soon as we reached Naini jail in the evening, I was told that my father had passed away.”
“We don’t know the cause of death,” he said. “My father couldn’t walk properly… At the jail, officers said he had a liver problem.”
Kupwara Deputy Commissioner Anshul Garg told the newspaper: “Bhat was booked under PSA. We had sent him to the Srinagar Central Jail. It was the decision of the Home Department to send him outside the Valley. We had no information that he was ailing, and Prayagraj authorities informed us of the death yesterday. We are not aware of the cause of death.”
Over a thousand people, including political leaders, separatists and activists were detained after the Centre’s August 5 order. Three former chief ministers of the state – Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti – were also first put under house arrest and then detained. Farooq Abdullah was charged under the “public order” section of the Public Safety Act, which allows authorities to detain a person for six months without trial.
Last week, Farooq Abdullah’s detention was extended by three months.