2 detained PDP leaders set free by Jammu and Kashmir administration

J&K administration released two PDP leaders who were under detention since Aug 5 last year, when the Centre abrogated the provisions of Article 370 and divided the state into two union territories

Security forces in Anantnag district, Kashmir (IANS Photo)
Security forces in Anantnag district, Kashmir (IANS Photo)
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PTI

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday released two PDP leaders who were under detention since August 5 last year, when the Centre abrogated the provisions of Article 370 and divided the state into two union territories, officials said.

They said the police guard at the houses of PDP leaders -- Ashraf Mir and Rafiq Mir -- was lifted on Friday morning and they can now resume their daily activities.

Ashraf was shifted from the MLA hostel in the last week of November but continued to remain under preventive detention at his house.

Rafiq Mir was detained at his residence post the August 5 decision, the officials said.

He was among dozens of political detainees who were kept at Centaur hotel.

Thirty-four detainees were shifted to the MLA hostel from the hotel, located on the banks of Dal Lake, on November 18 as Srinagar reeled under harsh winter and the hotel lacked proper heating arrangement.

On December 30, the administration released five political leaders, belonging to the National Conference and the PDP, after authorities were satisfied that they would not be indulging in any agitation or give call for any strike after they are set free.

Those released include Ishfaq Jabbar (National Conference), Bashir Mir, Zahoor Mir and Yasir Reshi (PDP) and Ghulam Nabi Bhat (Independent).

In November last year, two political leaders -- Dilawar Mir of the PDP and Ghulam Hassan Mir of the Democratic Party Nationalist -- were released by the new Union Territory administration.

The National Conference had welcomed the decision of the administration and said such moves will help in bridging the gap between the government and the people.

Many political leaders were picked up from their residences on August 5, the day the Centre had withdrawn the special status given to J&K under Article 370 of the Constitution and divided the state into two union territories -- Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

The two union territories came into existence on October 31 last year.

Three former chief ministers -- Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti -- are also under detention. While senior Abdullah was slapped with the stringent Public Safety Act on September 17 and remains confined to his residence, Omar Abdullah and Mufti are under detention at different locations in the city.

Mufti was recently shifted to a government accommodation in the city from a tourist hut located at the foothills of Zaberwan range.

The PSA on senior Abdullah was reviewed by authorities on December 15 and it was agreed that he would continue to remain in detention for another 90 days.

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