The health condition of incarcerated separatist Hurriyat leader Altaf Ahmed Shah, 66, who was arrested in 2017 and lodged in the Tihar Jail, has deteriorated in a Delhi hospital, the family members said on Monday.
According to Mr. Shah’s daughter Ruwa Shah, who was allowed to meet the ailing separatist leader in a Delhi hospital on Monday, said her father’s lungs were not functioning. The family members said Mr. Shah has been put on a ventilator and was not able to talk now.
“My father’s cancer has spread to his vital organs, lungs, abdomen and spine. The PET scan that is needed to be done is not available at RML [Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital] where he is currently under custody treatment,” Ms. Shah said.
A few days ago, Ms. Shah wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and sought his intervention to release Mr. Shah on health conditions and “providing him proper medical aid”.
Mr. Shah, according to the family, was diagnosed of acute renal cancer recently. He was arrested during a major crackdown launched on separatist leaders by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2017 and was lodged in the Tihar Jail in Delhi.
Mr. Shah is the son-in-law of Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who died in 2021.
In 2021, incarcerated Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, 77, died in custody on May 5.
Meanwhile, the Hurriyat, headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, expressed serious concern over the “critical health condition of Mr. Shah”.
“The Hurriyat fervently appeals to the Government of India to grant him immediate bail on humanitarian grounds and let his family take care of him as his condition is critical, requiring immediate medical attention,” a Hurriyat spokesperson said.
The Hurriyat said it hoped that human rights organisations across India and outside “will urge the government to release political prisoners and get them access to health care facilities, which is the fundamental right of all including prisoners”.