Sajjad Lone and Mehbooba Mufti’s close aide released from detention in Jammu and Kashmir
Two senior Jammu and Kashmir politicians have been released from preventive detention after 180 days on Wednesday bringing the number of released political prisoners since Sunday to eight.
People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Lone and People’s Democratic Party leader Waheed Parra, who is considered close to the former chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, were released in attempts to minimise restrictions that were imposed since the former state was bifurcated into two Union Territories and its special rights enshrined in article 370 scrapped by the parliament on December 5, 2019.
13 political leaders are still under detention at the MLA hostel in Srinagar which has converted into a make-shift subsidiary jail, said PTI.
Former PDP MLA from Wachi Aijaz Ahmad Mir and trade leader Shakeel Ahmed Qalandar were released on Tuesday.
The detention of political leaders has led to increased international scrutiny of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The USA had recently said that it was keeping an eye on the detentions along with the general situation in Kashmir, while the European Parliament plans to pass a resolution in Jammu and Kashmir in the month of March.
Despite the phased release of the political leaders, some prominent leaders—Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti—still remain under detention.
National Conference chairperson Farooq Abdullah has been held at his Gupkar house while his son and NC vice president Omar Abdullah has been detained at Hari Niwas. Mufti, who was lodged at Hari Niwas, was later shifted to a rest house at Chesma Shahi on the foothills of Zabarwan mountains. She was shifted to an official house at Maulana Azad Road close to MLA hostel in December last year.
The opposition has been continuously demanding that leaders, especially, Farooq Abdullah, be released from detention and allowed to attend the parliament.
Recently a photograph of Omar Abdullah sporting an overgrown beard had surfaced on the social media leading to political parties like the DMK and TMC criticizing the Central government for his continued detention.