SRINAGAR: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah has demanded the unconditional release of all those detained or arrested in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 for any political process to begin in the state, the party said on Monday, a day after its delegation met the leader for the first time after his detention.
An NC spokesman said the party president also told the delegation that the people of the state have voiced their disapproval over the revocation of the special status and bifurcation of the state by protesting in a peaceful manner and the party cannot ignore these sentiments.
A 15-member NC delegation were on Sunday allowed to meet Farooq Abdullah and party vice president Omar Abdullah for the first time since their detention.
"It was made very clear to the visiting party delegation by the incarcerated leaders that no political process can take place until and unless certain actions are undertaken by the government of India straightaway," the spokesman said.
Block Development Council (BDC) elections in the state are scheduled for October 24 and the NC has maintained that it will not be able to take part in the exercise if its leaders are kept in detention.
Among the demands put forth by the NC leaders is release of all political detainees, traders, civil society members that have been arrested on "false grounds", the spokesman said.
They also demanded the release of all students and children that have been arrested and put under detention in various jails or police stations, he said.
The spokesman claimed that there was an attempt to downplay the situation in the state by "suggesting that only violence would be indicative of public resentment".
"People have rejected the abridgement of their rights following the unilateral abrogation of Article 370. It is indeed high time for GOI to restore the dignity of the people by undoing the steps that were taken on the 5th and 6th August," he said.
He said the NC leaders are of the firm belief that the party cannot overlook and ignore the public sentiment.
While Omar Abdullah has been kept in detention at Hari Niwas Palace, Farooq Abdullah has been arrested under the controversial Public Safety Act.