THE JAMMU and Kashmir (J&K) administration on Thursday released PDP leader and former legislator Noor Mohammad Sheikh, and lifted curbs on the movement of two other former legislators — Yawar Dilawar Mir (PDP) and Shoiab Lone (Congress).
While Sheikh was released from Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC), that has been declared a sub-jail, Mir and Lone were allowed free movement after security forces deployed at their houses were removed.
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter, Iltija Mufti, accused the government of forcing the released leaders “to sign bonds”. “Reports say detainees released today were forced to sign bonds. Under what law is their release conditional as their detention was illegal itself? Many including Ms Mufti have categorically refused to sign these bonds. The government with its rudderless approach is tying itself in knots,” she tweeted from her mother’s Twitter handle.
“A democratic India that always fought for the principles of liberty and equality is today being questioned and castigated for its brutal actions in Kashmir internationally. Governments will come and go, but what about the damage done to the reputation and moral fabric of this country,” she tweeted.
Sources said Sheikh, who represented Batamaloo constituency of Srinagar during the PDP-BJP coalition government, was released after he signed a bond “under Section 107” stating that he would “not commit breach of peace or do any act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace”. A source close to Sheikh said he was released as “his daughter was getting married”.
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Officials said that while the bond seeks “good behaviour” from those released, it encompasses many things and can include their political activity.
Meanwhile, the government also lifted restrictions on the movement of Mir, who was under house detention in Srinagar, and Lone, who was under house detention in Sopore. A senior police officer in Sopore said the curbs on Lone’s movement were lifted three weeks ago as he was undergoing surgery.
Earlier, the government released Peoples Conference leader and Shia cleric Imran Ansari, former NC legislator Mohammad Sayeed Akhoon and Congress activist from South Kashmir Hilal Ahmad Shah.