Five leaders held in J&K for past four months released

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Amid mounting pressure on the Center government to release political leaders in Kashmir, who were detained after August 5, the J&K administration on Monday set-free five leaders.

Those who were released include senior National Conference leader and former MLA Ishfaq Jabbar, PDP leaders and former legislators Zahoor Mir and Yasir Reshi. They were among over 30 leaders, who are currently lodged at Srinagar’s MLA Hostel-turned-sub-jail.

These leaders were placed under detention after the Centre abrogated J&K’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two union territories on August 5.

Additional Director General Police Law and Order and Security, Muneer Khan confirmed the release of five leaders. Asked when would be rest of the detained leaders released, he evaded the direct answer. “The government will take the decision to release them at an appropriate time,” Khan told reporters.

On November 26, authorities had released senior leader of PDP and former MLA Mohammad Ashraf Mir and another senior politician and former legislator Hakim Mohammad Yasin. Three other senior politicians and former MLAs detained in their houses, were also allowed to move freely while other politicians under house detention were told that they were free to move to Jammu or Delhi in case of any emergency.

The release of political leaders under detention since August 5 is seen as a way for revival of political activities in Jammu and Kashmir which have come to a standstill for the last almost five months.

However, sources said, three former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar and Mehbooba Mufti – would continue to remain in detention along with a few other leaders, who have potential to mobilise people to protest against abrogation of Article 370.

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