Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday released five second-rung leaders of three mainstream political parties after they reportedly signed bonds assuring the authorities that they will not indulge in any activities prohibited in the documents.
The five belonging to the National Conference (NC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Congress are among hundreds of Kashmiri political leaders and activists from both separatist and mainstream camps detained ahead of the Centre’s abrogating special status given to J&K under Article 370 and splitting the state up into two Union Territories on August 5.
The released leaders include Ishfaq Jabbar and Ghulam Nabi Bhat (NC), Bashir Mir (Congress) and Zahoor Mir and Yasir Reshi (PDP), the official sources here said. They were among 36 detainees kept initially at the Centaur Lakeview Hotel and later shifted to MLAs Hostel here.
Of these three dozen politicians, Imran Raza Ansari of People’s Conference (PC), Muhammad Ashraf Mir (PDP), Muhammad Sayeed Akhoon and Noor Muhammad (both NC) and Hakim Muhammad Yasin of J&K Democratic People’s Front were sent home more than six weeks ago. On November 25, two political leaders — Dilawar Mir of the PDP and Ghulam Hassan Mir of the Democratic Party Nationalist — were also released by the authorities.
Some officials had recently told media persons privately that the government is ready to release from detention those politicians and individuals who are ready to assure it in writing that they will not indulge in such activities — political or otherwise — that may cause disruption of peace or prove detrimental to the “interests” of the people.
The official sources here said on Monday that the political detainees with some exceptions have once again been offered to be released by the administration on the condition that they sign the bonds, which bar them from indulging in any political activity after their release.
The authorities have, however, indicated that some key politicians will also be set free in the coming days in what would be a major shift in government’s policy towards the Valley politicians. Union home minister Amit Shah had recently said that the decision to release the Kashmiri politicians vests with the local administration.
Among those who remain incarcerated since August 4 night are former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. The senior Abdullah has been detained under J&K’s stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) at his residence along Srinagar’s Gupkar Road declared a ‘subsidiary jail’ in September. His son and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah and Ms Mufti are lodged at Hari Niwas Guesthouse and 5 Moulana Azad Road, the two government-owned properties also declared ‘subsidiary jails’, respectively. The duo was taken into preventive custody under Section 107 of CrPC with no FIRs lodged ahead of the Centre’s stripping J&K of its special status and bifurcating in into UTs.