Not just three former chief ministers and an IAS topper, the list of those detained in Jammu and Kashmir a fortnight into the J&K Reorganisation Bill 2019 includes a former Union minister, seven former state ministers, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Srinagar, and a number of legislators.
While there are talks within the government on easing the security clampdown in the state after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, there is no official word yet on when the detained leaders will be released.
Those detained also include lawyers, businessmen, professors, members of the J&K Bar Association and civil society. Some of the key political figures who have been detained:
Farooq Abdullah: Three-time CM and former Union minister, Abdullah is president of the National Conference (NC), and Srinagar MP.
Mehbooba Mufti: Former CM Mufti is president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A former Parliamentarian, she was elected to the state assembly thrice.
Omar Abdullah: Former CM Omar was a Union MoS in the A B Vajpayee-led NDA-1 government.
Sajad Lone: Close BJP ally, he once referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his elder brother. Separatist-turned-mainstream leader, he heads the Peoples Conference. He was a minister in the PDP-BJP government and once seen as the BJP’s CM candidate.
Junaid Mattu: Mayor of Srinagar, Mattu was projected by Governor Satya Pal Malik as the new face of Kashmiri politics. When the Prime Minister visited Kashmir, Mattu was given the honour of officially receiving him. He was recently diagnosed with a bone marrow disorder.
Shah Faesal: Bureaucrat-turned-politician, and first Kashmiri to top the IAS, Faesal heads the Jammu Kashmir Peoples Movement, a mainstream party he formed after resigning from the civil services.
Waheed Parra: In 2018, when the PDP-BJP government’s popularity was at a low, he organised a sports show for Rajnath Singh in Srinagar, earning praise from the then Home Minister. He is youth president of PDP.
Ghulam Ahmad Mir: President of the Pradesh Congress, Mir is a former MLA.
Saifuddin Soz: Former president of the Pradesh Congress, he is a former MP and Union minister in the UPA-1 government.
Naeem Akhtar: Former minister in the PDP-BJP government, Akhtar is a close aide of Mehbooba Mufti.
Ali Mohammad Sagar: Former state minister and general secretary of NC, Sagar was elected to the assembly for four consecutive terms.
Abdul Rahim Rather: Former state finance minister, the NC leader was elected to the assembly seven times.
Mohammad Shafi: NC veteran, he is a former MP and has represented Uri in the assembly several times.
Ghulam Hassan Mir: Former state minister, Mir is a founding member of PDP.
Hakim Yasin: Three-time independent legislator, Yasin heads the Jammu Kashmir Peoples Democratic Front.
M Y Tarigami: Veteran Communist and CPM state secretary, he was elected to the assembly for four consecutive terms.
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Imran Ansari: Influential Shia leader, he was a senior minister in the PDP-BJP government. A friend of Sajad Lone, he joined Peoples Conference last year.
Mubarak Gul: Senior NC leader, Gul was elected to the assembly from Eidgah for four consecutive terms.
Khalida Shah: Sister of Farooq Abdullah and wife of former J&K CM Ghulam Mohammad Shah, she is the patron of Awami National Conference.
Mohammad Ashraf Mir: Junior minister in the PDP-BJP government, he defeated Omar Abdullah in 2014 assembly elections.
Ajaz Mir: Former PDP legislator and lawyer, he hails from Wachi, known as a hotbed of militancy in South Kashmir’s Shopian.
Noor Mohammad Bhat: Former PDP legislator, he represented Batamaloo in the assembly.
Khurshid Alam: Was Srinagar president of PDP and member of state legislative council.
Bashir Veeri: NC leader from South Kashmir, he was a member of the legislative council.
Syed Akhoon: NC leader, Akhoon is a former legislator.
Tanvir Sadiq: NC leader, he is political advisor to Omar Abdullah.
Sheikh Imran: He is the Deputy Mayor of Srinagar.
When asked how long the detentions will continue, and what the future of these politicians are, Minister of State (PMO) Jitendra Singh told The Indian Express at the Idea Exchange event: “Actually I don’t see any future for them. They are also realising that their political innings has come to an end. It is only some section of the media that wants to see some future, so that the story can carry on. The story has ended.”