Srinagar : The state government of Jammu and Kashmir has begun its process to release at lest 173 incarcerated leaders of the regional political parties as well others, including those from the National Conference (NC), the Peoples Conference (PC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in phases in the coming days.
Sources said the Union Home Ministry had passed on directions to the J&K police to finalise the names of politicians to be released in the first phase. Those who “pose the least threat to the law and order situation” will taste freedom first.
PC leader Imran Ansari, also a former Minister in the PDP-BJP regime, will be among the first to be released as he has complained of “ill health.” Mr. Ansari, who is also a prominent Shia priest, will be allowed to attend the ‘Shia Tazia’ (commemoration) gathering on the occasion of Muharram, the Islamic calendar’s first month, which starts next week. The police report suggests there are fears that the Muharram procession” may turn into an anti-India protest this time.”
The police sources said prominent “ailing and ageing leaders” of the regional parties may be considered first for release from detention. NC’s Ali Muhammad Sagar, a former legislator and minister, and PDP’s Nayeem Akhtar, also a former legislator and minister, were being considered for release in the first batch. However, former chief ministers, NC’s Omar Abdullah and PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, are unlikely to be released in the first phase “on account of fears of eruption of protests.”