BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: The incarcerated progressive leader Baba Jan has launched a campaign in Gilgit - Baltistan to free prisoners languishing behind bars despite completing their sentence.
“In the first stage we appeal to the chief justice of supreme appellate court to look into the matter,” Jan told media from Gahkuch Jail on Wednesday.
Jan was shifted to Gahkuch jail last year from Gilgit after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) awarded life imprisonment to him and 11 others for ransacking a police station and damaging government property in Hunza in 2011.
“This is against basic human rights and the custodians must take notice of this,” he added. “Talking to media is part of our campaign as this is how we are able to convey our message to outside world. We are thinking to expand our movement too,” said Jan who also contested G-B elections in June from jail, securing about 5000 votes. He got highest votes after PML-N candidate Mir Ghazanfar, who is now a lawmaker.
Jan said there are several prisoners whose life term is over but they are still languishing behind bars in the region.
“Under any law, those completing 14 years are set free but unfortunately that’s not the case in G-B.”
Jan said he and his inmate colleagues have taken up the task to assisting those failed to get justice from the concerned departments.
He added at least three inmates who completed over 14 years were in Gahkuch jail where the number of inmates was over 50 as compared to the capacity for 80 inmates. “This jail is better as compared to rest of jails in G-B.”
The incarcerated leader however said jail reforms were need of the hour so that when inmates come out of jail they are civilized people and not terrorists.
He regretted there were no skill enhancement programmes for inmates, which deprived them of being productive men.
“There should be some skill enhancement programmes for the inmates so that they use their time productively and be able to earn something during and after jail life.”
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) awarded life imprisonment to Baba Jan, formerly a member of the leftist Labour Party, and 11 others for ransacking a police station and damaging government property in Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) in 2011.