Srinagar: After the release on Thursday of three mainstream political leaders who were under detention for over two months, the Jammu and Kashmir administration plans to release more politicians in the coming week. These leaders were detained since August 5, the day the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcating it into Union Territories.
According to sources, among those set to be released are IAS-turned-politician Shah Faesal; National Conference (NC) leader and former legislator from Ganderbal, Ishfaq Jabbar; and Yasir Reshi, former PDP Member of Legislative Council (MLC).
Faesal, a topper of the 2009 UPSC civil services exams, resigned from the government services and joined mainstream politics in January. Two months later, he launched his own political party – the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement.
“Faesal is likely to be released next week,” a source in the J&K administration told News18.
Sources added that the decision to release Faesal is being taken as he is likely to call off his political innings. “He will quit mainstream politics and probably head to the United States for academics,” sources close to him said.
“He (Faesal) is disappointed with mainstream politics after the August 5 decision (to abrogate Article 370),” said a party source.
Faesal was stopped from flying out of the country at the Delhi airport on August 14 and sent back to Srinagar, where he was placed under preventive detention. His wife challenged his detention, only to later withdraw the petition in the Delhi high court.
Shehla Rashid, Faesal’s ally and former students’ union leader of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), on Wednesday had announced her decision to quit the “electoral mainstream”. Rashid said the decision was in protest against the Centre’s “current actions” in Kashmir, saying she cannot be a “party to legitimising the brutal suppression of people”.
Faesal, sources said, will also cite the same reasons.
Yawar Mir, Noor Mohammed, and Shoaib Lone were released on Thursday. Mir is a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislator and son of former PDP minister Dilawar Mir. He was, as per authorities, under house arrest.
Lone, who had contested the Assembly elections unsuccessfully from North Kashmir on a Congress ticket and had later resigned as the party’s district president, was also under house detention.
Mohammed, a former National Conference (NC) legislator, was detained in Santore Lakeview hotel along with other top politicians of the state.
The J&K administration had on September 21 released Imran Ansari of the People’s Conference and the NC’s Syed Akhoon on health grounds.
Former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah continue to remain under detention, while NC chief Farooq Abdullah has been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
The detainees released on Thursday had to sign bonds, sources in the administration told News18.
Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija earlier in the day slammed authorities for their "rudderless approach" in releasing the three politicians on the condition of signing a bond, stating that several leaders including her mother had categorically refused to sign them.
The Centre last week had released a few leaders in Kashmir who had been placed under preventive detention in August. Among those were the NC’s Devinder Singh Rana, Surjit Singh Salathia, Javed Rana and Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo; the Congress party’s Raman Bhalla and Waqar Rasool; and Harsh Dev Singh of the Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party.