Five more leaders released from detention after over 160 days


Three former legislators are among five politicians released by the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday as part of an ongoing exercise to free detainees and lift curbs imposed on the region. They were placed under detention on August 5, when the centre scrapped the erstwhile state’s special status and bifurcated it into two union territories, NDTV reported.

According to report, the freed leaders were identified as National Conference leaders Altaf Kaloo, Showkat Ganaie and Salman Sagar, and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders Nizamuddin Bhat and Mukhtar Bandh. Salman Sagar is a former mayor of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

However, Kashmir’s three most prominent leaders — National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti — continue to remain in detention. The centre has not provided any definite date for their release, only letting on that they will be freed at an “appropriate” time.

Omar Abdullah, detained at Hari Niwas in Srinagar, was expected to be shifted to a house near his official residence today.

Five politicians belonging to the two regional parties were freed from detention on January 1. These developments come amid global calls for the release of all political detainees and lifting of Internet restrictions in the Valley.

Last Friday, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice NV Ramana said that Internet connectivity was a “fundamental right” of the people and ordered the union territory administration to review all curbs that have been in place for over 160 days, NDTV reported.


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