Two months after National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar were placed under preventive detention, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has finally allowed party members to meet them.
A delegation led by provincial president Devender Singh Rana has arrived in Kashmir valley today.
Farooq and Omar Abdullah, both former Chief Ministers, were placed under detention the night before the centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5. The government also took similar action against other Kashmir-based politicians, including Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti and Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference chairman Sajjad Lone, to prevent a possible backlash from the public.
According to Mr Mantoo, the delegation was allowed to meet the Abdullahs after Mr Rana made a request in this regard. While 81-year-old Farooq Abdullah has been placed under house arrest at his Srinagar residence, his son remains detained at the Hari Niwas state guest house nearby.
Confirming the development, Mr Rana said the delegation comprises 15 former legislators.
Although the government recently released Jammu-based political leaders detained at the time, it is unlikely to extend the same courtesy to those in Kashmir in the near future. According to sources, the Satya Pal Malik administration believes that the state was spared a "bloodbath" after the August 5 decision just because of timely preventive action against Mehbooba Mufti and the Abdullahs.
"The situation in the region is normal only because these leaders are detained. The results of these detentions are clear. If you look at instances in the past, Kashmir has always witnessed a bloodbath after any such move. It didn't happen this time because these leaders were kept out," Farookh Khan, advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir governor, told NDTV on Friday.
Omar Abdullah was earlier visited by his sister Safiya and aunt Suraya Mattoo on at least two occasions.
(With inputs from ANI)