SRINAGAR – Governor administration on Thursday released three politicians, who were under detention since August 5 when the Centre abrogated the special status of the Jammu and Kashmir state, separated Ladakh from it and downgraded its status to a union territory.
The released politicians include Shoaib Lone of Congress, Noor Mohammad Sheikh and Yawar Mir of People’s Democratic Party.
Shoaib Lone unsuccessfully contested last elections on Congress Ticket from Sangrama Constituency, while Noor Mohammad Sheikh and Yawar Lone represented People’s Democratic Party in the last State Assembly, which was dissolved by the governor, before President’s rule was applied in Jammu and Kashmir.
The trio is among the hundreds of politicians, lawyers and trade body leaders, who were taken into custody on 5th of August and detained at Centaur Lake View Hotel, on the banks of Dal Lake.
The release is first of its kind, where detainees were asked to sign a bond in return of their release, and sign an undertaking that they will not indulge in any political activity opposing the decision of scrapping of special status to Jammu and Kashmir by the GOI, local media reports said.
Pertinently Advisor to Governor Farooq Ahmed Kahn on 5th October, while replying a question from media persons, had given an indication about the release of Kashmiri leaders one by one and in a phased manner.
Besides political leaders and workers, some members of trade bodies and Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association are also in custody since August 5.
While separatist leadership was already facing a crackdown, three former chief ministers of state were also detained to prevent any possible resentment to the Center’s decision to withdraw the special status of the state.
Among the three former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah was lodged in Hari Niwas, Mehbooba Mufti in Cheshma Shahi guest house, while Dr. Farooq Abdullah was kept under house arrest at his Gupkar Road residence, with Public Safety Act (PSA) slapped against him.
Those who were detained at Centaur Lake View Hotel, which government declared Subsidiary Jail later, include State Congress President Ghulam Ahmed Mir, NC leaders Ali Mohammad Sagar, Hilal Akbar Lone, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Bhat, Irfan Shah, Salman Sagar, Altaf Kaloo, Mubarak Gul, Ishfaq Jabbar Lone, Mohammad Syed Aakhoon, Ali Mohammad Dar, PDP leaders Sartaj Madani, Nizam-u- Din Bhat, Nayeem Akhtar, Wahid Parra, Bashir Ahmed Veeri, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Khurshid Alam, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, Aijaz Ahmed Mir, People’s Conference leaders Sajad Gani Lone, Imran Raza Ansari, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement leader Shah Faesal, Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu and Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran and former MLA Hakim Mohammad Yasin.
While Ghulam Ahmed Mir was released earlier, Mohammad Syed Aakhoon of NC, Imran Raza Ansari of PC and Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran were also released on ‘health grounds’ on 27th of September.
Earlier administration released all the 57 leaders from Jammu, who were also detained and kept under house arrest, after the abrogation of special status to J&K.
Among the released Jammu leaders were Davinder Singh Rana, Surjit Singh Salathia, Javed Rana and Sajad Ahmed Kitcloo of National Conference, Raman Bhalla and Waqar Rasool of Congress and Harsh Dev Singh of Panthers party.
Sources said few more detainees likely to be released shortly are Naeem Akhtar of PDP and Ali M Sagar and his son Salman of NC.