Jammu and Kashmir government not to release prisoners on this Eid

In the past, the J&K government used to release separatist leaders ahead of Eid, however, last year also, the PDP-BJP government did not release any prisoners for Eid.

Published: 14th June 2018 11:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th June 2018 11:55 PM   |  A+A-

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti (File | PTI)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir is unlikely to release any prisoners, including separatist leaders or youth booked for stone pelting at Eid-ul-Fitr as a "goodwill gesture" as the State's Home department, headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has not issued any order so far.

In the past, the J&K government used to release separatist leaders ahead of Eid, however, last year also, the PDP-BJP government did not release any prisoners for Eid.

As per the prison department, about 3,000 detainees are lodged in different jails in J&K.

The J&K Kashmir High Court Bar Association claims that 1,500 of the detainees lodged in State jails are political prisoners.

Sources said the Mehbooba government is working hard to restore normalcy and peace after continuous militant violence and agitations since the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.

The government's decision not to release any prisoners comes as violence and protests have drastically come down in Kashmir after the Ramzan ceasefire announced by the Central government on May 16.

There are apprehensions that if some separatist leaders, activists and youth booked for stone pelting are released, it would have an adverse impact on the law and order situation, especially in the Valley, sources said.

A political commentator, Aadil Ahmad said this year, it was expected that the government would release some prisoners ahead of Eid in view of the Ramzan ceasefire, as it would have added to the positivity surrounding the initiative.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have demanded the unconditional release of all prisoners before Eid.

"People irrespective of their age, continue to remain in various prisons and the majority of them are without trial and deprived of all basic facilities guaranteed in the jail manual. Prolonging the detention of prisoners was nothing but a political vendetta to break their resolve," they said.

Mainstream leaders have also demanded the release of prisoners for Eid as a humanitarian gesture.

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