Have asked political parties in JK to unite: Farooq

Have asked political parties in JK to unite to bring back all detained in jails outside UT: Farooq Abdullah

Former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah. (PTI Photo)

 Two days after his release from detention under PSA, regional National Conference (NC) president and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah Sunday urged all political leaders to unite and demand the release of detainees lodged outside J&K jails.

In his first stamen after being released on Friday after seven months in detention, octogenarian Abdullah said he had consciously avoided making any political statements. “While I believe a free and frank exchange of political views is essential so that we can take stock of the momentous changes that J&K has seen after 5th August 2019, we are still some way away from an environment where such political discourse will be possible,” he said.

Flamboyant Abdullah said “before we allow politics to divide us, I appeal to all political leaders here to unite behind the call to the union government to bring back all detainees from J&K in prisons outside pending their release.”

“While we would like to see them all released as soon as possible, pending that they should be shifted to J&K. This is a humanitarian demand & I hope others will join me in placing this demand in front of the government of India,” the NC chief demanded.

The three-time chief minister, who had gone to meet his incarcerated son Omar Abdullah on Saturday, said, “I am acutely aware that compared to hundreds of Kashmiri families I have been far more fortunate.”

“I was detained at home & my family had access to me. Yesterday when I went to meet my son Omar, also detained under the Public Safety Act, I had to travel a kilometre from my home to be able to see him. For families of most of the detainees meeting their loved ones is not nearly as easy. Their loved ones have been detained in jails spread across a number of states. They get two visits a month for which they have to spend large sums of money they can ill afford traveling to & to stay in the vicinity of these prisons,” he added.

The former CM said the already onerous financial burden is made worse by the health risk they now face because of the novel coronavirus. “At a time when people are being advised not to travel these families are being forced to put their lives at risk in order to meet their loved ones for a few short but very precious hours,” he added.

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