- Jammu leaders, who were also under house arrest, were released yesterday
- Dates for Block Development Council elections were announced recently
- Around 400 political leaders of J&K were placed under house arrest
Political leaders in Kashmir, who have been under house arrest for more than 50 days, will be released, but in a phased manner, an advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Governor has said. The leaders from Jammu -- also under house arrest as part of the lockdown in the state -- were released yesterday.
The decision was taken days after the government announced election for the Block Development Council, the second tier of the Panchayat Raj system in the state.
Asked if the Kashmiri leaders will also be released from detention, Farooq Khan, advisor to Governor Satya Pal Malik, said, "Yes, one by one after analysis of every individual, they will be released," reported news agency ANI.
Around 400 political leaders of the state -- including former Chief Ministers 83-year-old Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti -- were placed under detention or house arrest as the government announce its move to end special status granted to the state under the Article 370 and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
It was part of the stringent security measures - that included prohibitory orders and switching of phone and internet facilities -- to prevent any backlash.
The situation had prompted the international community - including the United Nations and the US -- to voice its concerns.
But the government said lifting of the security measures would depend on the local authorities, who will take a decision in view of the ground situation.
Over the last weeks, life has been slowly returning to normal in Kashmir. While some restrictions are still in place in some pockets, traffic has been heavy on the roads of Srinagar. All the markets, though, are yet to open and attendance in schools are yet to return to normal, say locals.
Earlier this week, it was announced that polling for over 300 Block Development Councils will be held on October 24 and counting will take place on the same day. Around 26,000 panchayat members are eligible to vote.