With no signs of immediate release, long winter ahead for detained J&K leaders

It would be the first time that the leaders would spend the harsh winter months in the Valley rather than moving to the warmer winter capital, Jammu.

Published: 25th November 2019 04:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th November 2019 10:11 AM   |  A+A-

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: With no signs of their immediate release, the top politicians of Jammu and Kashmir, including three former chief ministers, are likely to spend the harsh winter months in the Valley.

It would be the first time that the leaders would spend the harsh winter months in the Valley rather than moving to the warmer winter capital, Jammu.

Jammu and Kashmir  leaders including three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — and ex-ministers were detained immediately after the scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.

The leaders will continue to remain lodged at government accommodations in Srinagar, which have been converted into subsidiary jails by the authorities.

Earlier, most leaders would move into government accommodations in Jammu in November every year along with their families till the capital was shifted back to Srinagar with the arrival of spring.

However, according to locals, this winter would give the detained leaders a feel of the problems faced by Kashmiris during the winters.

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“Although they are lodged in government accommodations, where electricity is provided 24x7 but being in Valley they can at least feel how difficult it is to live without electricity in harsh winter months,” Abdul Jabbar, a shopkeeper in uptown Srinagar, said.

Last week, 35 detained mainstream leaders of National Conference, PDP, People’s Conference and former IAS office-turned politician and J&K Peoples Movement chairman Shah Faesal were shifted to MLA hostel in Srinagar, with better heating arrangements.

Zahoor Ahmad, a government school teacher said that although people in Valley are angry and disappointed over the scrapping of Article 370, they are happy that the mainstream leaders would be spending the winter in Valley.

“They (either in power or opposition) used to run away to warmer Jammu after shifting of capital in the winters and leave us to the mercy of Allah. Now they too will have to spend the harsh winter here and realise how people suffer” he said.

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