Rohingya Woman Hospitalised After Collapsing in Jammu Jail, Family Seeks Release

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Mehmooda Khatoon, 70, a Rohingya refugee is admitted in Jammu hospital after she fractured her leg in Hiranagar Jail

She is among 170 refugees, including women and children, who were detained in early March

Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India

A 70 -year-old Rohingya woman held in Hiranagar Jail of Jammu & kashmir’s Sambha district was admitted to Government Medical College Jammu on Saturday-Sunday night following injury to her leg a few days ago.

Mehmooda Khatoon suffered a fracture in her right leg when she slipped off and fell on the bathroom floor inside the jail, her treatment records and jail staff said.

Jail Superintendent P K Modi told Clarion India that they got her admitted in GMC Jammu and her treatment is going on.

According to him, Khatoon seemed to have recovered and her X-Ray scans were normal when she injured her leg but on Saturday she again developed pain and swelling and then a local doctor in Hira Nagar hospital suggested that she should be referred to GMC Jammu.

Khatoon is right now being looked after by her son and daughter in law. “I got a call from jail early this morning about my mother’s referral to Jammu and I quickly rushed to the hospital,” said her son Kamal Hussain who lives in a Rohingya refugee camp in jammu. She is accompanied by two cops.

Khatoon’s right leg is covered in cotton and plastic support for immobilisation.
Hussain urged the authorities to consider the release of her mother given her age and her health issues. “I am worried about my mother. What if she dies in captivity. Who will be responsible for it,” he added.

Khatoon is among at least 170 Rohingya refugees, including women and children, who were detained in early March from their camps in Jammu. The authorities said that they would be deported to Myanmar, their home country, arguing that they are living illegally in Jammu and Kashmir.

The action drew widespread condemnation from activists and human rights lawyers moved by the Supreme Court of India seeking halt in their deportation and their release from jail.
While the Supreme Court did make their deportation conditional— following due procedure— there was no word on their release.

The families of the detained refugees and Rohingya activists have expressed their disappointment on the court ruling and have been urging the Indian government to release them on humanitarian grounds.

Meanwhile calls are growing for the de-congestion of jails as reports suggest cases of coronavirus  have been reported from jails. Human rights groups have been urging Indian government to consider the release of political prisoners on priority.

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