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PC chairman Sajad Lone released from year-long detention

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC) chairman Sajad Gani Lone was on Friday released from nearly a year-long detention, officials said.

Lone was released days ahead of the first anniversary of the Centre’s move to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution in August last year, the officials said.

Lone also confirmed his release by taking to Twitter.

“Finally five days short of a year I have been officially informed that I am a free man. So much has changed.  So have I. Jail was not a new experience. Earlier ones were harsh with usual doses of physical torture. But this was psychologically draining. Much to share hopefully soon,” he said in a tweet.

The JKPC chairman was moved to his residence here in February this year and placed under house-arrest, the officials said.

He was taken into custody on August 05 last year when the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided the erstwhile state into two union territories.

Lone, a former cabinet minister in the PDP-BJP coalition, was kept at makeshift jail at Centaur hotel on the banks of the famous Dal Lake along with other leaders from mainstream parties before they all were moved to MLA hostel here. However, in February, Lone and PDP leader Waheed Parra were moved to their residences and were kept under house-arrest.

Lone’s release comes at a time when the government of the J&K Union territory is tackling heavy criticism for lying in the Supreme Court over the detention of senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz.

Soz scaled the boundary wall of his Srinagar house to “prove” that he was not a free man but that he had been kept under “illegal house detention” a day after the government said to the apex court, “He was never detained nor (is he) under house arrest.”

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