Detained Kashmiri leaders allowed to visit home, some may be released soon

Kashmir Article 35A 370 Farooq Abdullah Mehbooba Mufti - The Federal
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti address a press conference in Srinagar. (Photo - ANI File)

Some of the Kashmiri political leaders who have been under detention since August 5 may be released soon, with the Union Territory administration already easing restrictions on their movement, officials said on Sunday.

As many as four leaders belonging to various political parties were allowed to visit their houses for few hours on Saturday after they requested for it, they said.

Some of the political leaders who are detained in their houses may be allowed to move out of the valley on health grounds, the officials said.

There was a possibility of some of the detainees being released from the MLA hostel but a final plan will be worked out by the Union Territory administration with the Centre, they added.

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The leaders had been under detention since August 5 when the Centre announced abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and splitting the state into two union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

The union territories came into existence on October 31.

Among those detained are three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdulalh, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. While senior Abdullah was slapped with the stringent Public Safety Act on September 17, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have been detained at different locations in the city.

Thirty-four political detainees were shifted to MLA hostel from Centaur hotel on November 18 as Srinagar reeled under harsh winter conditions and the hotel lacked proper heating arrangements, the officials said.

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The winter chill took a toll on the health of the detenues — National Conference, PDP and People’s Conference leaders and prominent social activists — and the security personnel guarding them.

Mehbooba Mufti was earlier shifted to a government accommodation in the city from a tourist hut located at the foothills of Zaberwan range.