NC Demands Release Of 3 Ex-CMs, Others

JAMMU - Expressing serious concern over prolonged detention of mainstream leaders for over seven months, National Conference today welcomed the joint statement of the opposition seeking release of detenues in Kashmir including three former chief ministers, saying curbs on civil liberties don't augur well for the largest democracy of the world.

"The appeal made by the opposition to the Centre for release of detenues and restoration of political activities in Jammu and Kashmir is reflection of deeply ingrained democratic spirit of the country that has been acknowledged globally", senior National Conference leaders said in a joint statement issued from Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this afternoon.

The statement regretted continued detention of the party leadership, adding this is for the third consecutive time when the representative and loud voice of the people of Kashmir is not heard in Parliament.

“Denial to Dr Farooq Abdullah in participating in the parliamentary proceedings is not only undemocratic but a matter of concern for all those believing in highest traditions of civil liberties in this country,” it added.

National Conference leaders said that absence of political activities have created a vacuum across Jammu and Kashmir with people suffering from a sense of denial, especially due to complete disconnect with the government.

“This sense of denial and alienation has potential of people losing faith in democratic polity, they said, adding “Earnest steps would be taken for restoration of democracy and allowing political activities in a free atmosphere. More delay can prove to be counterproductive,”

The senior leaders expressed gratitude to the opposition leaders for their solidarity with the Kashmir mainstream and equally appreciated the raising of issue regarding release of senior parliamentarian of the country in both the houses of Parliament repeatedly.

“The people of Jammu and Kashmir are overwhelmed by the concern and gesture of the country's leadership and feel a sense of belonging,” the NC leaders said.

“Detention of political leaders and workers for over seven months is unprecedented, unfortunate and highly undemocratic, hoping that the Centre will listen to reason and announce unconditional release of all the leaders,” they added.

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