Release political prisoners in J&K: NC



National Conference on Tuesday urged the government to release all political leaders being detained in Jammu and Kashmir, allow political activities in order to normalise the situation.

“Today marks three months since the Centre abrogated the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and its bifurcation into two Union Territories as also the unprecedented lockdown on communication and civil liberties,”National Conference spokesperson said in a statement and added that  more than 90 days later, things that people in the rest of the country take for granted like Internet access, and unhindered access to communication, are being denied to Kashmiri people.

He said that hundreds, if not thousands of people have still been detained, including many in jails outside J&K, putting many families through enormous hardship, adding that even basic SMS facilities are not being allowed.

“We urge the government to take urgent steps to normalise the situation and allow democratic activity to take place with the release of all mainstream political leaders detained since August 5 including three former chief ministers,” he said.

The spokesperson said while the government has talked about restoring the paralysed education system, schools have hardly functioned, colleges even less so and Kashmir University has not even opened after summer holidays.

He said commerce in the Valley has been reduced to business conducted on handcarts.

“Absence of the Internet has hurt people who need proper healthcare, has hurt students and the business community,” he said.

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