Political detainees being held at the MLA Hostel in Srinagar barring five leaders are likely to be released by the Jammu and Kashmir administration in batches in January.
Sources told The Indian Express the five leaders unlikely to be released soon are Peoples’ Conference chief Sajad Lone, National Conference general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, former IAS officer and Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement president Shah Faesal, senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar and PDP youth wing president Waheed ur Rehman Para.
“Barring these five individuals, others are likely to be released in batches slowly. At least six individuals are scheduled to be released this week subject to their signing of release bonds,” a source in the administration, who did not wish to be named, said.
As on date, 26 persons are under detention at the MLA Hostel including PDP’s Ajaz Mir, NC’s Salman Sagar, Showkat Ganai, Ali Mohammad Dar and Altaf Kuloo and Awami Ittihad Party lawyer and social activist Bilal Sultan. They were moved to their current location from the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre citing logistical and security concerns in the last week of November. In the first week of August, a total of 58 political detainees were housed at the Sher-e-Kashmir centre.
Many individuals were detained in the first few weeks of August from across the Valley. “Approximately 800 or so are still under detention all over Kashmir,” a source said. Besides this, about 200 individuals are held in jails in other states, the source added.
Those in the MLA Hostel were picked up under clauses of preventive detention in the wake of the situation in Kashmir post August 5, the day the Central government revoked the special status accorded to the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, and decided to split it into two union territories.
Further, there is no move to release the three former Chief Ministers – Farooq Abdullah currently detained at his Gupkar Road residence under the Public Safety Act, Omar Abdullah detained at Hari Niwas and Mehbooba Mufti under detention at a government building in Maulana Azad Road, the sources said.
On Monday, five political detainees — Former PDP MLA Zahoor Mir, Bashir Mir of PDP, Dr Ghulam Nabi of National Conference, former MLA and NC leader Ishfaq Jabbar, and former legislator Yasir Reshi — were released from the MLA hostel.
Those released from SKICC and the MLA Hostel earlier include Mohammad Syed Akhoon of National Conference, Imran Ansari of Peoples’ Conference, Hilal Shah of Congress, Noor Mohammad Sheikh and Yawar Mir of the PDP, and Ghulam Hassan Mir of the Democratic Party (Nationalist).