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Tahir Siddiqui, dawn dot com | metropolitan: About 50pc of reported Aids cases in Sindh

About 50pc of reported Aids cases in Sindh
by Tahir Siddiqui, August 10, 2011

KARACHI, Aug 10: The Sindh High Court was informed on Wednesday that the estimated cases of Aids in Sindh were near 50 per cent of the total 100,600 reported cases in the country.

This was stated by Dr Rafique Ahmed Kolachi, the programme manager of the Sindh Aids Control Programme, in his comments on an application filed by Syed Iqbal Kazmi of the Human Rights Commission, South Asia, against irregularities in prisons and non-provision of health facilities to inmates, particularly those living with HIV/Aids.

Dr Kolachi submitted that the magnitude of the problem was much bigger in Sindh than the other provinces. He stated that 81 per cent of Aids cases in Sindh were in Karachi.

Additional Advocate General Sarwar Khan also filed comments of the provincial health secretary, while Deputy Attorney General Muhammed Ashraf Mughul undertook to file the comments of the federal finance secretary and the chairman of the Planning Commission within two weeks.

According to the applicant, the provincial prisons chief did not submit the compliance report and expressed apprehension that if prisoners living with HIV/Aids were released without intimating the authorities of the Aids programme their follow-up treatment could be difficult and might not be taken properly.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam put off the hearing to a date to be later fixed by the court’s office.

IG prisons summoned in UTP torture case

The Sindh High Court directed the provincial prisons chief to appear in court to explain inaction on his part in compliance with the court’s order regarding action against the jail officials responsible for torturing an undertrial prisoner.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam was seized with the constitutional petition of Mohammed Essa against the jail officials for brutally torturing and sexually abusing his interned son, Nazir Ali.

Earlier on June 7, the court had ordered the Inspector General of prisons to “carry out inquiry into the allegation of torture and identify the culprits and take departmental proceedings against those who are found indulged in such torture”,
and submit his report in court within 10 days.

On Wednesday, the bench was irked when an assistant prosecutor general submitted that he did not receive any reply from the prisons’ IG, although he had already called the inquiry report from him.

The bench ordered: “Let IG Prisons appear in person and explain inaction on his part and to show cause as to why it may not be treated insubordination of the court directives and why the action many not be recommended against him.”

The petitioner stated in his petition that he along with his two sons — Ramzan Ali and Nazir Ali — was booked and arrested in a murder case. Later, he said, he and Ramzan were released on bail, but Nazir remained confined in jail.

He stated that he learnt about a clean-up operation at the Hyderabad jail through newspapers and went to visit his son there, but he could not ascertain his whereabouts.

Later, he came to know that his son had been shifted to the Central Prison-1, Sukkur.

The petitioner said that his son was brought seriously injured on a stretcher when he went to visit him at the Sukkur jail.

Earlier on May 25, the bench had ordered the constitution of a special medical board to examine the UTP. The
examination report of the special medical board, placed in court, said: “The members of the Special Medical Board are of the unanimous opinion that from the physical examination the pattern of injuries are suggestive of torture”.

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