J&K Administration to release all political detainees this month, except five: Sources

The Jammu and Kashmir administration is all set to release all political detainees, barring five leaders, in batches this month, who are currently held at a MLA hostel in Srinagar, said sources. However, the administration will continue to hold detained at least five leaders into detention for some more time.

The sources told Zee News that at least four leaders are set to walk free from their detention on Friday (January 03). The leaders who will be freed by the administration today are PDF leader Hakim Mohammad Yasmin, PDP leaders Rafi Mir, Ashraf mir and Majid Padru.

The five leaders, who will continue to stay in detention are PDP leaders Mehbooba Mufti, Naeem Akhtar and National Conference leaders Umar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah and Ali Mohammad Sagar. They were detained on August 4, a day before the Centre scrapped Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Unlike Ladakh, UT of J&K can elect a legislative assembly and a chief minister with the total strength of ministers not exceeding the 10 per cent of the total strength of the assembly.

Farooq Abdullah has been detained in his house at Gupkar Road that has been declared as a sub-jail. Omar Abdullah has been detained at Hari Niwas and Mehbooba Mufti is detained at a government house on MA Road in Srinagar.

A total of 35 mainstream politicians were moved from the Centuar Hotel on the banks of the Dal Lake to the MLA Hostel last month. Four of the detained politicians had been released earlier. The number of detained leaders is now 26. Around 50 other leaders from different political parties are also under detention at Centaur Hotel which has been declared as a sub jail.

Efforts by the BJP to fill the political vacuum have so far not met with success.

The Centre is in contact with leaders like Altaf Bukhari, Muzaffar Hussain Baig of the PDP, Usman Majeed of the Congress and others. The four leaders were recently invited on lunch hosted in honour of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) who visited Kashmir on October 29.

The MEPs met several groups of people with little standing in public.

Earlier on December 31, the J&K administration restored the SMS services in the Kashmir Valley from midnight. All mobile networks and landline connections were suspended across Jammu and Kashmir on August 5. Earlier on October 14, postpaid mobile services were also restored. The internet facilities were also restored in health institutions across Jammu and Kashmir while the connection at rest of the place is also being restored on a ‘war footing’.

High speed broadband services were also resume in government schools and hospitals from Tuesday midnight.