15-member NC delegation meets Farooq, Omar Abdullah

National Congress President Farooq Abdullah with party Vice-President Omar Abdullah. (PTI Photo)

 A delegation of National Conference (NC) leaders from Jammu met the incarcerated party president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah in Srinagar on Sunday after permission from the government.

Sources told DH the delegation led by NC provincial president Jammu, Davender Singh Rana after their arrival in Srinagar in the morning had a meeting with senior Abdullah at his Gupkar residence, where he is under detention since August 5, when the Parliament scrapped special status of J&K under Article 370.

As the delegation reached his residence, Farooq Abdullah and his wife Molly came out to greet his party members. The octogenarian smiled as he flashed a victory sign to the cameras - his first public appearance since being detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

Later the delegation, they said, also had a meeting with Omar, who is in solitary confinement at Hari Niwas in Srinagar. “Besides enquiring about senior Abdullah’s health conditions, the delegation discussed the prevailing political situation with the detained leaders. They also held discussion on the situation which has emerged after scrapping of Article 370,” sources privy to the meeting, said.

Rana, who is brother of senior BJP leader and minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, Jatindra Singh, had sought permission from J&K governor Satya Pal Malik for the meeting. 

After the meeting, Rana told reporters that for any political process to begin, the leaders of the party need to be released.

There is "anguish about developments particularly about lockdown of the people and we, as a party, appeal that the political process to start and democracy to revive in Jammu and Kashmir political detenues anywhere and everywhere, whether from mainstream political parties or otherwise who have no criminal record, may be released to initiate the process and the hearts and minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir are won," he said.

On a question about the party's participation in block development committee elections, Rana said, "See there is a complete lockdown. If the political process has to start then these members have to be released.

Senior Abdullah, who is a three time chief minister and incumbent MP, was booked under PSA last month and his residence has been declared as sub-jail. Last month, two NC MPs – Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi – had met Abdullahs after High Court granted permission.

The father-son duo is among dozens of politicians, who are either under detention or house arrest in Kashmir since August 5. Another former CM and president of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti is also undergoing detention since August 5.

Earlier this week Jammu-based NC leaders met to discuss political situation in the state, soon after they were released from house detention.


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