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Politicians welcome, demand release of other detainees

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Srinagar: Several political parties on Tuesday hailed the release of National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah from nearly eight months of detention after nullification of Art 370 and demanded the release of all detainees in the Union Territory.

Welcoming the release of its vice-president, National Conference also sought the release of all political detainees and others languishing in jails inside and outside J&K since the nullification of Article 370 and revocation of J&K special status.

NC president Farooq Abdullah expressed happiness over the revocation of Omar’s PSA detention, but said total redemption of the situation was not possible until all political detainees were released.

“I am glad to see him out from the detention, which has lasted for around eight months. Total redemption of the situation is not possible until all political detainees and others are not released at once. I express my gratitude to those people, politicians, parliamentarians, who have all along been seeking his release,” he said.

Several other party leaders, including Members of Parliament, also welcomed the release of the party’s vice-president while pitching for the immediate release of party general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, who is also detained under Public Safety Act (PSA).

“It is a defining moment that will go a long way in further strengthening democracy and initiating genuine political activities in Jammu and Kashmir,” NC’s Jammu provincial president Devender Singh Rana said in a statement.

He expressed hope that Abdullah’s release would lead to the release of all other political leaders against whom there are no criminal charges.

Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference also welcomed Omar’s release, but demanded the release of its chairman Sajad Gani Lone as well.

“We at @jkpc welcome the release of Omar Abdullah. We demand the release of @sajadlone and @mehboobamufti. We also strongly demand the release of hundreds of others detained under PSA. @jkpc demands the release of our workers being held under PSA on Srinagar Central Jail and jails outside J & K,” JKPC leader Imran Reza Ansari said on Twitter.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti also welcomed Omar Abdullah’s release.

However, Iltija Mufti, whose mother is still under detention under the PSA, said for all its talk of women power and women emancipation, the Centre seems to fear women the most – referring to her mother’s continued detention.

“Glad he will be released. For all their talk of nari Shakti & women emancipation, seems like this regime fears women the most (sic),” Iltija wrote on Mehbooba Mufti’s Twitter handle.

She has been tweeting from her mother’s handle ever since the PDP president and former chief minister was detained in August last year.

Senior CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami while welcoming the revocation of PSA against Omar Abdullah called for restoration of 4G mobile Internet services and mobilisation of all resources to contain the spread of coronavirus in the UT.

“This (release of Omar) is a welcome move … We reiterate our demand for release of all those who have been arrested since August 05, especially those kept in different jails outside Jammu and Kashmir,” Tarigami said.

He also urged the administration to focus on mobilisation of all resources and do everything possible to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

“The present situation also demands immediate restoration of the 4G mobile Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

4G mobile Internet service was snapped across Jammu and Kashmir on August 05. Currently, 2G mobile Internet services are available in the region.

“Omar’s release is a step to correct one wrong among many wrongs. Though late, the decision to revoke the PSA imposed against Omar Abdullah is a welcome one. In the wake of spread of deadly coronavirus, the government should release all the detainees, who were detained after August 05, including PDP president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement chief, Shah Faesal,” the CPI(M) secretary Ghulam Nabi Malik said in a statement here.

The recently-launched Jammu Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari also welcomed the release of former chief minister and demanded that all other political detainees, including Mehbooba, be also released at the earliest in view of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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