26 political detainees released in Kashmir

Move coincides with visit of envoys

January 10, 2020 10:42 pm | Updated 10:42 pm IST - Srinagar

The J&K administration released 26 political detainees on Friday, coinciding with the tour of the 15-member foreign envoys, including the U.S. Ambassador, to Jammu.

A government spokesman said the administration revoked the detention of 26 persons detained under J&K Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978.

Those released include scores of lower-rung political activists mainly held in the government clampdown on August 5 and two senior lawyers, Nazir Ahmad Ronga, 65, and Abdul Salam Rather, 71.

However, members of the separatist Hurriyat and JKLF remain in custody, as does the president of the Kashmir High Court Bar Association Mian Qayoom.

Friday’s release is the first major decision on detentions since the August 5 clampdown by the Centre. It comes a day after several Valley-based political leaders raised the issue with the visiting 15-member envoys’ team in Srinagar and sought their intervention to put pressure on the Centre.

Meanwhile, the visiting ambassadors and the diplomats were briefed by a high-level team led by Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subramanian and DGP Dilbag Singh in Jammu, where they shared their assessment of the situation post August 5 and “measures under way to tackle militancy and restore peace”.

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