Two Jammu and Kashmir politicians – Sajjad Lone and Waheed Para – were released on Wednesday, exactly six months after they were detained by the central government ahead of the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status last year, NDTV reported.
Lone Chairman People’s Conference and Para of the PDP, however, were placed under house arrest soon after they walked out of the MLAs’ hostel in Srinagar, said the report.
Kashmir’s three most prominent leaders – National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 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. According to the law, the detentions of Omar Abdullah and Mufti ends this week, reported NDTV.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration had on Tuesday released two leaders – former PDP MLA from Wachi in south Kashmir Aijaz Ahmad Mir and trade leader Shakeel Ahmed Qalandar, who is the former president of the Federation Chamber of Industries, Kashmir. Since Sunday, a total of eight leaders have been released from preventive custody.
Hundreds of political leaders of Kashmir have been placed under detention or house arrest since August last year as the government announced its move to end special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.
The detention of Farooq Abdullah, 83, under the stringent Public Safety Act or PSA was extended by three months in December. The PSA is a stringent law that enables detention without trial for three to six month.
Jammu and Kashmir faced a number of restrictions in the months after the government’s move on Article 370.
These have included the banning of marches and rallies, the deployment of large numbers of soldiers and the blocking of mobile and internet services, something the Supreme Court said violated part of the fundamental right to freedom of speech. Mobile and internet services have been restored in the Valley, reported NDTV.