Srinagar: Farooq Ahmad Khan, one of the advisors to Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, has told the media that all the leaders of the mainstream political parties will be released after assessment from different agencies. The clampdown in Kashmir is now two months old and there is no sign of it coming to an end anytime soon. Telecommunication networks are down and the educational institutions remain closed.

In Jammu region, the authorities have “released’ all the political leaders after two months of detention with conflicting statements from the government. While a senior officer said that restrictions on political activities have been lifted, another official told the media that they were under self-imposed restrictions. In the Jammu region, mobile phones are working, but internet services remain suspended. All the educational institutions in Jammu are functioning normally.

Khan, while addressing queries, said that release of all the important political leaders was under consideration of the government. This is the first statement from the Governor’s administration about the possible release of three former Chief Ministers in Kashmir, including Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. The advisor, however, said that the leaders would be set free “one by one after proper analysis of every individual”.

In view of the upcoming Block Development Council elections, on 1 October the authorities lifted all curbs on the movement of Jammu-based political leaders of the National Conference (NC), Congress, Panthers’ Party and others. This is one of the reasons why the authorities may have lifted the curbs on the movement of all the leaders in the valley too.

In the Supreme Court, the Central government has already said that it had slapped the Public Safety Act (PSA) against Dr Farooq Abdullah.

Meanwhile, the recently released Jammu-based NC leaders have urged the Governor to allow them to meet party president Dr Farooq Abdullah and working president Omar Abdullah, who are currently under detention in Srinagar. Earlier, they met in the Jammu office of NC and passed a resolution and pledged to strengthen the bonds of communal amity and inclusive democratic politics in Jammu & Kashmir.

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