Can’t afford to travel to Tihar when virus is spreading fast, Covid is our new enemy now, say families of inmates
Srinagar, Mar 16: The fast spreading deadly Coronavirus has not just taken entire world by storm, but also added more to the miseries and pain of relatives of Kashmiri prisoners lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar and other prisons across India. Majority of family members of Kashmiri prisoners lodged outside J&K have decided not to visit Tihar and other prisons in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the family members of prisoners including some separatist leaders who are lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar jail have decided not to meet their loved ones till the virus is controlled. Though they claim the decision was taken with a very heavy heart as “staying away from loved ones amounts to adding the main and agony they are already undergoing.”
Nuzhat, the wife of advocate Shahid-ul-Islam, has undergone three surgeries in the past few weeks and has last met her husband in February. “Last time, when I met my husband, I was accompanied by my daughter. When we were back, my daughter developed health issues and I took her to a doctor, who stated that she was suffering from highest level of stress,” she said, amid sobs. “Going to Tihar to seeking meeting with my husband is not that easy. It’s a very cumbersome process. You can meet the relations twice a week—Tuesday and Friday, which means you have to reach Delhi on Monday and stay there for a week. The meeting is allowed for only three hours.”
She said that now that the deadly disease has spread, they are worried about the inmates in Tihar and can’t take a decision whether to go to meet their loved ones when there is a strict advisory not to travel. “We are stuck and in two minds. My health is not good. I think, I won’t be able to visit Tihar till May given virus and my ill health, even though I am recovering.”
She said that “the pain of separation is worst” but there is no choice.
Salman Ayaz, son of a separatist leader, Ayaz Akbar, who is also lodged in Tihar, said that they have decided to avoid travel to Delhi in the wake of Coronavirus scare. “I met Abu (father), in February and now we have decided to wait till the Covid-19 settles down,” Salman, whose mother is suffering from a fatal disease, told KNO.
Father of a prisoner, lodged in New Delhi, said that it has been a long separation since past over three years when their loved ones have been lodged in Jodhpur jail in Rajasthan. “Going to Jodhpur was always a hectic job. Travel is already costly affair and now this new disease has added more to our miseries,” he said, wishing not to be named. “I am already short of money, and can’t afford to travel to Jodhpur. Staying in a hotel for a week in Delhi then food and other travel is very costly affair. I don’t think I can travel to Jodhpur till May-June.”