Kashmir’s political leaders, in house arrest since Centre’s Article 370 move, will be released ‘one-by-one’, but after analysis, says governor’s advisor

The Kashmiri political leaders, who were put under house arrest after Centre abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, will be released one-by-one, but only “after analysis”, advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Farooq Khan said. National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah, former chief minister and NC leader Omar Abdullah, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti, are among the prominent leaders in the newly-formed Union Territory who were put under house arrest.

The development comes a day after the political leaders from Jammu, who were also detained as part of the lockdown in the state, were released on Wednesday ahead of the Block Development Council poll, the second tier of the Panchayat Raj system in the state on 24 October.

Jammu leaders of the National Conference (NC), Congress, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) — who were put under preventive detention since 5 August when Centre scrapped the special status – have been released from house arrest and the impositions placed on them have also been relaxed.

NDTV report also said, “Sources say that since the Jammu region is peaceful, the decision to release political detainees was taken after the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Election Officer announced polling for the Block Development Council election on Monday.”

NC’s Devender Rana and SS Salathia, Congress’s Raman Bhalla, and JKNPP’s Harshdev Singh are a few of the prominent leaders who were allowed to move out of their houses, News18 reported.

Rana of the NC was quoted by NDTV as saying, “Yes, I was conveyed (sic) last evening by a police officer that there will be no restrictions on my movements.”

As many as 400 political leaders were either detained or placed under house arrest after the union government ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

On 16 September, 83-year-old NC patron and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah was detained under the Public Safety Act.

With inputs from agencies

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