Jammu and Kashmir: 5 more political leaders released from detention

Srinagar Mayor Junaid Matto hugs National Conference Youth President Salman Sagar, who was under detention at a sub-jail since August 5 2019. (PTI Photo)

Five more Kashmiri politicians, detained after August 5, were released by Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday after a gap of over five months.

Those who were released include senior National Conference leaders and former legislators Altaf Kaloo and Showkat Ganai, former mayor of Srinagar Salman Sagar, former legislator of PDP Nizam-ud-DIn Bhat and Mukhtar Bandh.

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.

On December 30, five other mainstream politicians, including two MLAs, were released from detention. On November 26, authorities had released the 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.

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

However, three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti continue to remain under detention. Farooq Abdullah has been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) at his posh Gupkar Road residence that has been declared as a sub-jail. Omar has been detained at Hari Niwas and Mehbooba Mufti is detained at a government house on MA Road in Srinagar.

Sources said Omar is likely to be shifted from Hari Nivas to a government bungalow on the Gupkar Road near his residence in Srinagar. “The decision was taken keeping in view the harsh winter conditions,” they said.

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