SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir administration indicated on Thursday that political leaders under house arrest in the Kashmir Valley since the abrogation of Article 370 giving special status to the state on August 5, ‘will be released in a phased manner.’
To a question on the future course of action regarding the detention of Kashmiri leaders, Advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Farooq Ahmad Khan said, however, that the release would be done ‘one-by-one’ and after proper scrutiny and analysis of every individual.
The administration had on Wednesday announced lifting of curbs on non-BJP leaders of Jammu and said that they were ‘free to participate in any political activity they wished to’, while releasing them from preventive detentions. However, curbs on political activity continue in the Valley.
Among the several prominent political leaders detained, or taken into house custody, were two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — besides another former chief minister and Lok Sabha MP, Farooq Abdullah, who was detained under the Public Safety Act.
They are among some 500 leaders, including second-rung separatist leaders, many of whom are being shifted to prisons across the country.
The administration holds that their detentions have helped preserve peace in the Valley and helped avoid wider confrontations.
Khan said, “Have hope. They will be released one by one after proper analysis of every individual and proper review of each case."
Khan had told this paper that the detentions were ‘not for perpetual’. “It is not a perpetual detention. It would not be a permanent detention for all times to come. Till the time authorities are satisfied and justify their detention, they would continue to remain under detention.”
Asked why only Farooq Abdullah was charged, Khan said, “I will not like to discuss those reasons. These pertain to very sensitive issues of law and order. Whatsoever has been done is in the public domain. People, who were needed to be detained under PSA, were booked and those who were not seen as major threat were dealt with accordingly.”
On how the administration saw the future role of mainstream politics, Khan said “Ultimately a political government has to be in place once elections take place here and the politicians would naturally play a role.”
Asked whether the detained mainstream politicians will be eligible to contest polls, Khan said, “Elections will be held when situation is conducive for it. It would be free and fair polls. Whosoever wants to contest the polls can contest.”