Ahead of BDC polls, Govt begins release of politicians

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Srinagar, Oct 16(KNO): Ahead of crucial Block Development Council (BDC) election in Jammu and Kashmir, the Governor led administration has begun the process of releasing political leaders from preventive custody, who have been detained hours before Government of India announced abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.

According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the process begun last week after several leaders of Jammu division were released from their house detention, in which prominent leaders were National Conference (NC) Provisional President Devinder Singh Rana, Surjit Singh Salathia, JavedRana and Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo.

The Congress party’s senior leaders including Raman Bhalla and WaqarRasool were also released. And Harsh Dev Singh of the Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party was also released.

These leaders were released days after J&K Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Shalindra Kumar announced to conduct the Block Development Council (BDC) polls – the second tier of panchayat elections in the state on 24th of October.

Kumar made this announcement in a press conference after the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj issued an order SRO 522 dated 03-09-2019, notifying the Block Development Councils along with their constituent panchayathalqas.

Similarly, the Governor administration has released Peoples Conference leader and former minister Imran Raza Ansari, Abid Ansari and Natioanl Conference leader Syed Akhoon on health grounds, while as, senior PDP leader KhursheedAlam was released after the demise of one of his close relatives.

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The government also released YawarDilawar Mir former MLA Rafiabad- Baramulla, Noor Mohammed from Batamallo and ShoaibNabi Lone, who contested from north Kashmir on Congress ticket and later resigned from the party on Thursday.

A senior government official privy to the development said the government has eased the process of releasing the detained politicians keeping in view the BDC polls.

He said, among those set to be released are IAS topper turned politician Shah Faesal of newly floated political party Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM); National Conference (NC) leader and former MLA from Ganderbal, IshfaqJabbar; and Peoples Conference leader, YasirReshi.

“Apart from senior leaders, some key functionaries of political parties, activists, and business association leaders will be released from the detention in coming days,” he told KNO.

Political leaders of Jammu division, who were released last week have been advised to refrain from political activities. However, the Kashmir based politicians were asked to sign the bond for not disrupting peace in the Valley.

In wake of abrogation of Article 370, over a thousand people, including politicians, activists, separatists and business association leaders, were detained in the state, which include three former chief ministers – Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

Dr. Farooq, who was last month slapped with Public Safety Act (PSA), remained under detention at his Srinagar residence while Omar and Mehbooba have been lodged in separate state guest houses. (KNO)

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