The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Centre and the Delhi government’s response on a plea by Jammu and Kashmir administration to transfer seven Pakistani undertrials with suspected links with terror outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Al-Badr from Jammu jail to Delhi’s Tihar Jail, as they were allegedly indoctrinating fellow prisoners in Jammu.
Appearing for the J&K administration, Advocate Shoeb Alam told a bench of Justices L N Rao and M R Shah that if not Tihar, they could be shifted to high-security prisons in Haryana or Punjab.
The bench, which issued the notice, tagged the pleas for transferring the seven with an earlier petition filed by the state, seeking shifting of Pakistani national Zahid Farooq, allegedly affiliated to LeT, and said it will hear all the petitions together.
J&K has also requested that the trial of their cases be shifted out of the state since transporting the undertrials to court and back to prison poses security threat to the police personnel escorting them as the common people.
The administration submitted that it has received intelligence inputs that the seven Pakistanis pose threat to national security, and that their alleged involvement in planning and designing terror attacks cannot be ruled out.
They are understood to have been mobilising support within the jail (in Jammu) by influencing the minds and psyche of other inmates to execute their designs, the petition stated. It said the administration has also reliably learnt that the prisoners have considerable local support and it cannot be ruled out that they may be receiving information, resources as well as other help to carry out terror acts.
It said “foreign prisoners” like the seven “are radicalising and brainwashing local Kashmiri youth in prison”, and that “there is a concentration of prisoners with similar backgrounds and linkages to terrorist organisations in local prisons in the State of J&K”.
The allegedly brainwashed local youth, who are inmates in the same jail, were spreading terror ideas and creating sympathisers by influencing and mobilising people against the State whenever they are released, or during visitor meetings, the state submitted.
It added that the continuance of these seven men in J&K jails “poses a great danger to the security and sovereignty of the nation”. The state said, “It cannot be denied that due to the peculiar political, militancy and infiltration situation prevailing in the State, the locals…particularly those…in prisons are more susceptible to being brainwashed and indoctrinated and eventually indulge in such nefarious undesirable activities and taking up arms.”