Centre Initiates Background Talks For Release Of J&K Political Leaders: Sources

Reports sent by the state administration to the North Block in Delhi indicate most of the state leaders have been approached by officials to know how they want to proceed with politics in the state.

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Over 250 people have been arrested under the Public Safety Act in Kashmir


New Delhi: 

The central government has initiated background talks for the release of political leaders in the Kashmir valley, who have been under arrest for more than two months, since the government ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and split it into two union territories, sources have told NDTV.

Reports sent by the state administration to the North Block in Delhi indicate most of the state leaders have been approached by officials to know how they want to proceed with politics in the state.

"Some leaders have been released on goodwill and some after they completed mandatory formalities with the state administration," a senior functionary in the government told NDTV.

"Release of these three leaders would be a political call taken by Delhi," states a senior bureaucrat in the Home Ministry, smiling. 

Meanwhile, softening its stance, the state administration has allowed family members to meet the three former chief ministers. 

While Farooq Abdullah's daughter was allowed to meet him and Omar Abdullah, Tasaduq Mufti, the brother of Mehbooba Mufti, was given permission to meet her for four days (October 1-4) for 20 minutes each day. 

Background meetings with various political leaders indicate that the National Conference seems to be gearing up for a fight for full statehood of the state and the PDP seems to have taken a rigid stance on the removal of special status of Jammu and Kashmir. 

"State administration has withdrawn PSA (Public Safety Act) slapped against many individuals. The ones who are still booked under it are the ones who have secessionist leanings," explains an officer. 

Among those who have been released include PDP leaders Altaaf Bukhari, Yawar Mir, Noor Mohammed and Shoiab Lone. 

"Only Noor Mohammad has been released after he complied with the requirement of the law rest were released on a goodwill gesture," explains a senior officer. 

As per the Home Ministry figures, as part of preventive strategy, over 3,600 persons were either detained or arrested. Out of which over 240 were political leaders and lower rung workers; over 120 were separatist leaders or leaders have secessionist leanings. As many as 170 over ground workers were also arrested or detained and over 3,000 stone throwers and troublemakers were put behind bars. 

In the last one week, over 2,800 people have been released while over 1,100 are still in custody. 

Over 250 have been arrested under the Public Safety Act and most of them have been shifted outside Jammu and Kashmir for security reasons. 

The detentions and arrests were part of stringent security measures, including the snapping of phone and internet services, which drew protests from the international community and prompted the United Nations and the United States to voice their concerns.



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