Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti Finally Allowed To Meet Relatives: Sources

Sources said that while Omar Abdullah has been lodged at Hari Niwas in Srinagar, Mehbooba Mufti is confined at a tourism department property in Chesmashahi that has now been declared as a sub-jail.

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While Farooq Abdullah has been placed under house arrest, Omar is confined to Hari Niwas. (File)


Srinagar: 

Highlights

  1. Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were placed under arrest on August 5
  2. Sources say Ms Mufti's relatives were allowed to meet her on Thursday
  3. Omar Abdullah's family reportedly met him twice this week at Hari Niwas

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehooba Mufti have been allowed to meet their families nearly a month after their arrest on August 5, sources said. The two former Chief Ministers were taken into custody as a "precautionary measure" ahead of the government's decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 and bifurcate it into two distinct union territories.

Omar Abdullah's family reportedly met him twice this week at Hari Niwas in Srinagar, where he was taken soon after the centre moved on Jammu and Kashmir. His sister, Safia, and her children were also allowed to meet the leader - who has grown a beard in the days following his arrest - for 20 minutes on Saturday, sources said.

Sources said Mehbooba Mufti's mother and sister were allowed to meet her on Thursday. The PDP president is lodged at a tourism department property in Chesmashahi that has now been declared as a sub-jail.

Safia and her aunt reported visited the Deputy Commissioner's office on several occasions before they were finally granted permission to visit Omar Abdullah on Monday. They first got a chance to speak with him on August 12, the day of Eid, when officials allowed him access to a phone.

Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah's father and three-time Chief Minister, has also been placed under house arrest without access to a telephone. Sources said two senior officials in the Jammu and Kashmir administration visited him thrice over the last few weeks but repeated requests to meet his son were denied.

Sources said neither Omar Abdullah nor Mehbooba Mufti have access to news channels in the absence of cable and newspapers. However, officials have provided the former with a DVD player to watch movies. The 49-year-old National Conference leader also reportedly reads books on his Kindle tablet and regularly goes on walks on the premises of Hari Niwas.

Although authorities claim that they are gradually lifting the clampdown on Jammu and Kashmir, there has been no indication of the political leaders being released soon. Governor Satya Pal Malik recently joked that confinement was beneficial for Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti because it will help them win more votes once they are out.



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