J&K leader Sajad Lone released 5 days short of a year

Finally 5 days short of a year I have been officially informed that I am a free man, said Sajad Lone. Photo:PTI

After almost a year of being under house arrest People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone was released at his official residence at Church Lane in Srinagar.

The separatist-turned-politician was detained by authorities on August 5, 2019 after the abrogation of Article 370 and splitting of J&K into two separate Union Territories by the Centre. He was held in a detention centre for the first six months till February and then was put under house arrest.

Lone was part of Gupkar declaration of Kashmir-based mainstream parties which had vowed to protect Article 370 and its provisions which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

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“Finally 5 days short of a year I have been officially informed that I am a free man. So much has changed. So have I. Jail was not a new experience. Earlier ones were harsh with usual doses of physical torture. But this was psychologically draining. Much to share hopefully soon,” Mr Lone tweeted following his release.

Reacting to Lone’s release National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted, welcoming his release. He hoped for the release of other leaders under similar detention

Several party leaders were detained for protesting the scrapping of Article 370 on August 5 last year. Former chief minister Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah were released from detention in March this year. The two along with other leaders Shah Faesal, Sartaj Madni and Peer Mansoor were booked under Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA). The three were released in June. However People’s Democratic Party chief and former CM Mehbooba Mufti continues to be under house arrest.

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