The Jammu and Kashmir administration has ordered the release of as many as 28 persons lodged in jails both outside and within the state. All were booked under the stringent Public Safety Act. Among those released include Kashmir Economic Alliance President Yaseen Khan.
All of these detainees were booked post August 5, when the centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the then state into two union territories.
Apart from Central Jail Srinagar, detainees are being released from District Jail Ambedkar Nagar, Central Jail Agra and central Jail Varanasi. Before this, on April 14, the J&K administration had revoked the detention of 36 local and 41 detainees in other parts of the country.
Two former Chief ministers, Farooq Abdullah And Omar Abdullah, also charged under the PSA, were released in March, while former CM Mehbooba Mufti remains detained at her Gupkar Road residence.
Of the 28 whose release were ordered ahead of Ramzan on Friday night, seven are from Srinagar, five from Pulwama, six from Kupwara, one from Kulgam, four from Budgam and five from Anantnag district.
District Magistrates in each case have been asked to provide passes for travel to a family member to receive the prisoners and bring them home.
As per official figures, 532 persons were booked under the Act between August 5 and October 24, including 53 in Jammu. 60-year-old Yaseen Khan, who was picked up from his house on August 7, will be released from Central Jail, Agra.
Speaking to The Indian Express in September, Khan’s family had said that at the time of his arrest, police had told them he would be released the next morning or in a day or two. They were not sure which jail he had been sent to. He has since spent over eight months in jail.
Khan, whose primary business is manufacturing readymade garments, became president of the traders and manufacturers federation in 2010, and was actively involved in helping traders during the floods of 2014.
In 2017, Khan was summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to depose and allowed to return after questioning in Delhi. At the time, traders in the Valley had observed a shutdown in protest. In April last year, he was called for questioning again by the NIA and allowed to return.
Following a March 23 Supreme Court order to all states and UTs, J&K set up its high-level committee to include the Executive chairman State Legal Services Authority, Principal Secretary Home as well DGP J&K police. This committee, as per SC directions, will determine the class of prisoners who could be released on parole for four to six weeks to avoid overcrowding in jails, so as to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19.
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