Govt starts letting off over 1,000 separatists post-polls

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Dec 18, 2014 19:40 IST

Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have started to release separatist leaders and their supporters rounded up in the wake of five-phase polls in the state.

"The process of their (separatists) release has started. Those who had applied for bails are being granted the same by court. Most separatist leaders have been freed so far. There were around 1,000 top-rung and middle-rung separatists behind the bars to conduct a peaceful poll," director general of police (DGP) K Rajendra told the Hindustan Times.

The DGP said the security forces have no intention to make fresh arrests with the last leg of polling coming up on December 20 in the Jammu region.

"We have no intention to arrest them unless there is an attempt to breach peace," added the DGP.

The four phases of assembly polls have seen healthy polling with several constituencies polling around 80% and the lowest of around 28% was recorded in Srinagar.

By and large a peaceful poll, the authorities had to pick up several anti-poll separatists ahead of the elections for their boycott campaign.

Moderate separatist group Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Ahmad Shah, after his release, said, "We categorically reject any administration or government that comes to the fore as a result of these sham elections. If Indian leaders are so sure about people's support, why are they scared of conducting a referendum here. Let everyone see whom the people of Kashmir will give their mandate," he said.

Several leaders of hardline and moderate Hurriyat have also been released. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's Hurriyat member Zafar Akbar Bhat was also released.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front claimed its chief Yasin Malik has not been released yet. "Malik sahib has been shifted to a hospital in Srinagar after he complained of pain in abdomen," said JKLF spokesman.

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