J&K Govt to release 45 terrorists
The Jammu and Kashmir government is set to release about 45 terrorists from various jails in the state next week in keeping with a promise made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
A team of central home ministry officials will arrive in Jammu on Wednesday to give final clearance to a list drawn up the state government of the terrorists who are to be set free, officials in Jammu said.
"These are the terrorists who were found to be marginally involved in cases. There are no big cases listed against their names," an official said.
The term "marginally involved" means the terrorists not involved in any killings, the officials said.
The state government has reviewed the cases of nearly 1,000 terrorists.
After a thorough screening, officials here concluded that no more than 45 terrorists qualified for release in keeping with an assurance made by the prime minister when he chaired the first ever roundtable on the Kashmir issue in New Delhi Feb 25.
Separatist groups and political parties like the ruling People's Democratic Party have for long been demanding release of all political prisoners in the state.
Manmohan Singh had said a high-level panel would examine the cases of all prisoners in Kashmir so that those who were not involved in "serious cases" could be released.