Four more middle-rung leaders of mainstream political parties in J&K were on Thursday released from detention after the administration got them to sign bonds promising to “maintain peace and good behaviour”.
Former PDP MLAs Noor Mohammed, Abid Ansari and Yawar Mir and ex-Congress district president Shoaib Lone comprise the second set of political functionaries in the Valley to be freed from detention or house arrest since J&K lost its special status with the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A on August 5.
Last month, the administration had released People’s Conference leader Molvi Imran Ansari, Syed Mohammad Akhoon of NC, Mohammad Amin of Congress and Khurshid Alam of PDP on health grounds. The latest development coincides with curbs on tourism in J&K being officially lifted with effect from Thursday.
Noor, Abid and Yawar are former MLAs from Batamaloo, Zadibal and Rafiabad constituencies respectively. Shoaib Lone had contested the North Kashmir seat on a Congress ticket in the last assembly elections but lost. He subsequently resigned as district president of the party.
While the four of them have been finally allowed to walk free from the makeshift detention centre at Centaur Hotel along Dal Lake, scores of politicians, separatist leaders and activists remain under detention or house arrest. The list includes former CMs Farooq and Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
The administration had announced two weeks ago that the detained politicians would be released in phases, depending on how the Valley responds to efforts to restore normalcy. Leaders of mainstream political parties in Jammu were the first to be released.