9 more political leaders released in Kashmir

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Jan 16: As the situation in Kashmir has remained normal for last five months following clampdown after August 5, authorities today released 9 more political leaders from detention.
Five detainees including People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Nizamudin Bhat, Showket Ganie, Altaf Ahmed Kaloo all NC and Salman Sagar of NC, Mukhtar Bandh, son of former PDP leader Muhammad Khalil Bandh were released from MLA hostel sub jail this afternoon. The relatives of these leaders were informed by the Jail authorities about their release after which they were handed over to them.
Authorities also said that they released former Minister and PDP leader Abdul Haq Khan, Congress leader Haji Abdul Rashid, NC leader Nazir Ahmed Gurezi and Peoples Conference leader Muhamamd Abass Wani from house arrest. However, Haji Rashid, Gurezi and Wani were moving freely but were under house arrest in official records.
However, 20 political leaders are still under detention in MLAs hostel. Last month, eight political leaders were released from MLAs hotel Sub-jail.
Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen and Mohammad Ashraf Mir were released early in December. This was followed by the release of former Deputy Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Sheikh Imran, but his custody was given to Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) who formally arrested him for questioning in Jammu and Kashmir Bank related case.
On December 30, senior PDP leader and former Minister Zahoor Ahmad Mir, former legislator Yasir Reshi and PDP leader Bashir Ahmad Mir, National Conference leader and former MLA Ganderbal Ishfaq Jabbar and NC leader Dr Ghulam Nabi Bhat were released from Sub-Jail.
Government early this month released four mainstream leaders from house arrest. They were Rafi Ahmad Mir, Abdul Majeed Paddar, Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen and former PDP legislator Mohammad Ashraf Mir.
Twenty eight people booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) were released so far since August 5 when around 450 people were booked under the Act after special status of Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped.
Last week administration revoked PSA against 26 persons including former Kashmir Bar Association president, Nazir Ahmad Ronga.
Government also revoked PSA of Mubeen Shah and released him last month on health grounds from Agra jail after Supreme Court intervention.
A cancer patient Parvaiz Ahmad Pala of Kulgam was also released early this month after High Court quashed his detention under PSA and directed Government to release him.
One of the detainees, Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Jamat-e-Islami died in UP jail last month.