A year on, several Jammu and Kashmir leaders remain confined

Police standing guard near the residence of Mehbooba Mufti on April 7. File   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Almost a year after the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was revoked on August 5 last year, over two dozen mainstream leaders of the regional parties, including the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), remain under house arrest in the Kashmir valley.

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“Around 16 leaders of the party continue to be under house arrest for the past 363 days,” NC spokesman Imran Nabi Dar told The Hindu.

NC president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah had filed two separate petitions in the court on July 13 to get these leaders released “to start political deliberations”.

“House detentions without any administrative orders are unlawful. It undermines human rights and individual liberty,” said Mr. Imran.

Most of the NC leaders, now under house arrest, served in jails in different detention centres since August 5, 2019, and were later shifted to homes.

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PDP spokesman Suhail Bukhari said the top PDP leaders are disallowed to move out of their houses. “Naeem Akhtar, G.N. Hanjura, Sartaj Madani, Peer Mansoor, A.R Veeri etc, all former legislators and Ministers, remain under house arrest since their release from sub-jails,” said Mr. Bukhari.

Sajad Lone-headed Peoples Conference (PC) leader Abdul Ghani Vakil and J&K’s Peoples Movement chief Shah Faesal and Javaid Mustafa Mir are also placed under house arrest, according to the party spokesmen.

Regional politics

“Regional politics and the politicians are being made to vanish from the scene in J&K after August 5 last year. Year on, the practice continues,” said former Minister and PDP leader Akhtar.

Hurriyat chairman and Kashmir’s head priest, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, also remains under house arrest at his Nigeen residence in Srinagar.

“The Mirwaiz is not allowed to come out. He could not attend any important and significant religious events due to the house arrest. No one is allowed to meet him since August 5 last year,” a family member said.

All top three separatist leaders — JKLF chief Yasin Malik, former Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani and the Mirwaiz — are among scores of separatist leaders either under house arrest or jailed.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 3:44:42 PM |

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