The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday ended the house arrest of all politicians in Jammu. However, local leaders in the Kashmir Valley are still under detention or house arrest, reports said. The government's move comes almost two months after the Centre imposed restrictions on communications and public movement as "preventive measures" ahead of the abrogation of Article 370 in the restive region.
The measures to contain possible unrest after the abrogation of the law which gave the region a certain degree of autonomy also included putting local leaders in Jammu and the Valley under preventive detention. Former chief ministers Farooq and Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference's Sajjad Gani Lone were among those put under house arrest in Kashmir.
On 16 September, the Centre announced that 83-year-old Farooq had been detained under the Public Safety Act.
Jammu leaders of the National Conference (NC), Congress, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) have been released from house arrest and restrictions placed on them also been terminated. NC's Devender Rana and SS Salathia, Congress's Raman Bhalla, and JKNPP's Harshdev Singh are a few of the prominent leaders who have been released from house arrest, India Today reported.
Rana of the NC was quoted by NDTV as saying, "Yes, I was conveyed (sic) last evening by a police officer that there will be no restrictions on my movements."
The decision also comes a few days after the Election Commission announced polls for the local council, which is the second tier of the Panchayat Raj system in to-be Union Territory.
The NDTV report said, "Sources say that since the Jammu region is peaceful, the decision to release political detainees was taken after the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Election Officer announced polling for the Block Development Council election on Monday."
Last week, Union minister Jitendra Singh had stated that leaders in Jammu and Kashmir will not be detained "beyond 18 months" and said that they are not under arrest, but are living as "house guests". He said, "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."
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Oct 02, 2019 16:18:36 IST