Nearly a year after they were first detained, the National Conference (NC) on Monday filed a petition in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, seeking the release of 16 party leaders still under house arrest.
Party president and MP from Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah filed a habeas corpus petition, challenging “the unconstitutional and illegal house detention of 16 NC senior leaders and functionaries”.
In a statement, the party said “the decision to move to the court has been taken as a last resort to provide relief to various party members who have continuously been under house arrest or were kept under house detention after being shifted there from detention centres”.
The party had earlier written to the Principal Secretary, Home, Jammu & Kashmir, seeking release of all its functionaries under house arrest. The representation signed by the 16 leaders noted that “no order (preventive or otherwise) justifying such confinement has till date been served upon” them.
Their counsel told The Indian Express, “All the leaders have been detained without justification or any grounds or orders… We have filed this petition after writing to the Principal Secretary Home and on their failure to act on our request. This is a clear case of wrongful confinement.”
The leaders named are Ali Mohammad Sagar, Abdul Rahim Rather, Nasir Aslam Wani, Aga Syed Mehmood, Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Irfan Shah, Sahmeema Firdous, Mohammad Shafi Uri, Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Chaudhary Mohammad Ramzaan, Mubarak Gul, Dr Bashir Veeri, Abdul Majeed Larmi, Basharat Bukhari, Saifudin Bhat Shutru and Mohammad Shafi.
NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said the quashing of the Public Safety Act (PSA) case against party general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar “underscored the indefensible nature” of all the detentions in the court of law.
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