A day after the Jammu and Kashmir administration allowed them to move out of their houses in Jammu, senior National Conference leaders met at the party headquarters here Thursday and urged Governor Satya Pal Malik to allow their delegation to meet party president Dr Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah who are under detention in Srinagar.
“The party will chalk out the future course of action after meeting the top leadership,” said a resolution unanimously adopted by them at their emergency meeting. Expressing “concern over the situation in the wake of unfortunate political developments during the past two months”, the delegation expressed “anguish over the continued detention of senior leaders of National Conference and other mainstream political parties in Kashmir, including Farooq and Omar Abdullah”.
The leaders “condemned the detention of Farooq Abdullah, notwithstanding his immense and crucial role in the democratic polity of the country and contribution in steering the state to peace, progress and development, braving all odds”. Seeking immediate release of all the political leaders, they demanded the withdrawal of restrictions on free movement and expression of people by restoring democracy.
Significantly, this was the first-ever meeting of senior party leaders from Jammu province at party headquarters here since August 5 when following scrapping of special status by diluting Article 370, a number of their senior leaders were verbally asked by the administration to stay indoors and refrain from carrying out any political activity. The restrictions imposed on them, including Devender Rana, provincial NC president and younger brother of Union Minister of State in the PMO Dr Jitendra Singh, were lifted on Wednesday.
Dr Farooq Abdullah, former CM and sitting Lok Sabha member from Srinagar parliamentary constituency and five-time chief minister of the state, is presently detained under Public Safety Act.
Pointing out that dissent is essential to democracy, they “expressed concern over the situation in the wake of unfortunate political developments during the past two months”. They also sought immediate release of all the political leaders, withdrawal of restrictions on free movement and expression of people and ensuring liberty by restoring democracy.