Harsh winter conditions in Srinagar see 34 political prisoners lodged at Centaur Hotel shifted to MLA Hostel

As Srinagar reeled under harsh winter conditions, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday shifted all 34 political prisoners, lodged at Centaur Hotel since 5 August, to the MLA Hostel as the facility lacked proper heating arrangements

Press Trust of India November 18, 2019 10:00:22 IST
Harsh winter conditions in Srinagar see 34 political prisoners lodged at Centaur Hotel shifted to MLA Hostel
  • As Srinagar reeled under harsh winter conditions, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday shifted all 34 political prisoners, lodged at Centaur Hotel since 5 August, to the MLA Hostel as the facility lacked proper heating arrangements

  • The winter chill took a toll on the health of the detainees, National Conference, PDP and People's Conference leaders and prominent social activists, and the security personnel guarding them, they said

  • They were lodged at the hotel on the bank of the scenic Dal Lake on 5 August when the central government announced its decision to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and split the state into two Union territories

Srinagar: As Srinagar reeled under harsh winter conditions, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday shifted all 34 political prisoners, lodged at Centaur Hotel since 5 August, to the MLA Hostel as the facility lacked proper heating arrangements, officials said.

The winter chill took a toll on the health of the detainees — National Conference, PDP and People's Conference leaders and prominent social activists — and the security personnel guarding them, they said.

They were lodged at the hotel on the bank of the scenic Dal Lake on 5 August when the central government announced its decision to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and split the state into two Union territories.

Harsh winter conditions in Srinagar see 34 political prisoners lodged at Centaur Hotel shifted to MLA Hostel

Kashmir snowfall. ANI

Kashmir Valley, including Srinagar city, was reeling under winter chill and witnessed the season's first snowfall earlier this month.

The seat of administration in the newly created Union territory has moved from Srinagar to Jammu for the winter months.

The administration carried out the required modification of rooms in the MLA Hostel on Maulana Azad Road in the heart of the city to accommodate the political prisoners. It has been declared as a subsidiary jail by an order of the Jammu and Kashmir home department.

Among the political prisoners are Sajjad Lone of People's Conference (PC), Ali Mohammad Sagar of National Conference (NC), Naem Akhtar of the PDP and former IAS officer Shah Faesal.

Tempers ran high during the shifting of political detainees to the MLA Hostel when Lone allegedly refused to cooperate in the mandatory body search and luggage frisking by police personnel, officials said.

The incident took place when Lone, who was part of a group of 34 political prisoners, arrived at the MLA Hostel at the high-security Maulana Azad Road.

Lone's party claimed that he was "manhandled" on the pretext of security checking but the police denied it, saying it was following mandatory security drills.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was on Friday shifted to a government accommodation in the city from a tourist hut located at the foothills of Zaberwan range, officials said here.

The move was necessitated as the approaching winters and frequent power cuts made it difficult to stay in the hut which was converted into jail after she was detained on 5 August this year.

According to the officials privy to the development, Centaur Hotel, owned by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), has submitted a bill of nearly Rs three crore to the home department for over 100 days of boarding and lodging of the detainees.

The administration has, however, rejected the claims of Centaur Hotel and argued that the facility was converted into a subsidiary jail on 5 August and therefore, government rates would be paid.

The rates sanctioned by the administration would be around Rs 800 per day as against Rs 5,000 charged by the hotel, the officials said.

Updated Date:

also read

Temperature dips to minus 11°C in Gulmarg as Kashmir continues to reel under cold wave
India

Temperature dips to minus 11°C in Gulmarg as Kashmir continues to reel under cold wave

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, also recorded sub-zero temperature on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday as the mercury settled at minus 2.7°C

Jammu and Kashmir: Two LeT terrorists killed by security forces during encounter in Shopian
India

Jammu and Kashmir: Two LeT terrorists killed by security forces during encounter in Shopian

The police have recovered incriminating materials, arms and ammunition from the site of the encounter

Army Commander calls 2021 a historic year for the armed forces in J&K and Ladakh
India

Army Commander calls 2021 a historic year for the armed forces in J&K and Ladakh

The ceremony was a solemn occasion to appreciate and recognise the professionalism in operational roles performed by the units during their tenure in northern Command, a defence spokesman said