Six prisoners from the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who were on a hunger strike in the Bhopal central since a week have been shifted to the jail hospital after their health deteriorated on Saturday night, Hindustan Times reported quoting a jail superintendent.
Complaining against the inhuman treatment they receive in jail, the prisoners have been on a hunger strike for the past one week. Haider Nagori, brother of one of the six prisoners – Safdar Nagori, told Clarion India that jail authorities have not informed his family about the well-being of Safdar. He said he came to know about the development through newspapers. Apparently, families of other five prisoners, too, are unaware of the situation inside the jail.
Besides Safdar Nagori, those hospitalised are- Mohammad Ansar, Saduli PA, Shibily, Qammruddin Nagori and Hafiz Hussain. They are serving life sentence given by Indore Sessions Court in 2017.
Hindustan Times reported, Madhuri, a human rights activist, as saying, “the SIMI prisoners have been harassed by jail authorities for the past three years. Recently Qamaruddin moved an application in Ahmedabad court, where he and other five are facing a trial for Sabarmati jailbreak, against physical and mental torture on him.”
Besides the six, there are four more convicted SIMI prisoners and 28 undertrial SIMI members in Bhopal jail.
According to Bhopal central jail superintendent Dinesh Nargave, 18 had been shifted to solitary confinement.
In 2017, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) conducted two investigations into complaints that convicted and undertrial prisoners were facing torture and inhuman treatment, including religious slurs against their Muslim identity in the Bhopal Central Jail. Both investigations concluded that the prisoners were facing physical and mental torture at the hands of prison authorities, and even highlighted the illegality of their continued solitary confinement.
Almost three years later, neither the jail authorities nor the state government of Madhya Pradesh has taken note of the findings of a statutory body formed under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, Clarion India reported.
The SIMI is a banned organisation that was formed in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, in April 1977. SIMI maintains that concepts of secularism, democracy and nationalism, keystones of the Indian Constitution, are antithetical to Islam.
They aim to restore the supremacy of Islam through the resurrection of the Caliphate, emphasis on the Muslim Ummah and the waging of Jihad.
The Indian government describes it as a terrorist organisation and banned it in 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attack. The ban was lifted in August 2008 by a special tribunal but was reinstated on 6 August 2008 on national security grounds. In February 2019, the ban on SIMI was extended for a period of five more years starting February 1, 2019, under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).