Politicians who have been detained in Jammu and Kashmir after the government scrapped special status to the state under Article 370 and divided it into two Union Territories will not be kept confined at "VIP bungalows" for more than 18 months, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
Mr Singh said the leaders have not been arrested but are living as "house guests".
"Political leaders have been kept in VIP bungalows. We have even given them CDs of Hollywood movies. Gym facility has also been provided to them. They are not under house arrest. They are house guests," the Union Minister of State for the Prime Minister's Office said at a public event in Jammu.
Some 400 politicians in Jammu and Kashmir, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been kept under detention since the centre's move on Kashmir on August 5.
The National Conference's Farooq Abdullah, 83, a former chief minister, has been charged under the Public Safety Act, which allows arrest or detention for up to two years without trial. The Congress and other opposition parties have strongly condemned the move.
"Each chief minister, and each political party be it Congress, National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir have tried their level best to fight militancy. If there is no militancy today, it is because of these political parties and not the BJP," Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad said last week.
Restrictions are still in place at parts of Kashmir valley to prevent trouble. Some curbs have been eased, but mobile phone and internet services are still curtailed because they may be used to spark unrest, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has said.
The government last week told the Supreme Court that there had been no loss of life during the restrictions, which have been in place to avoid any backlash over the centre's decision.
Restrictions have been removed in 93 police stations and there are no restrictions in Ladakh, the government said.
With inputs from PTI
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