Jammu, October 4: Army and police personnel launched a joint search operation in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district and recovered 17 hand grenades on Friday, a senior police officer said.
A search operation was launched on specific information in Kharagali area of Loran border belt and a hideout was busted, he said.Seventeen hand grenades were recovered, he said, adding that it appeared they were three to four months old.
Three Kashmiri politicians released from detention
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday released three politicians who were under detention since August 5 when the Centre abrogated the special status granted to the state under the Constitution, officials said.
Yawar Mir, Noor Mohammed and Shoiab Lone were released on various grounds, the officials said, explaining the reasons for ending their detention.
While Mir is a former PDA MLA from the Rafiabad Assembly seat, Lone contested unsuccessfully on a Congress ticket from north Kashmir and later resigned as district president of the party.
Noor Mohammed is a National Conference worker who has been managing the party’s show in the militancy-infested Batmaloo area of the Srinagar city.
Before his release, he will be signing a bond to maintain peace and good behaviour, the officials said on Wednesday night.
The administration had earlier released Imran Ansari of the People’s Conference and Syed Akhoon on the grounds of health on September 21.
More than a thousand people, including politicians, separatists, activists and lawyers, were detained after the August 5 move of the central government to abrogate the state’s special status.
The detainees include three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
Over 250 people were sent to the jails outside Jammu and Kashmir.
Farooq Abdullah was subsequently detained under the stringent Public Safety Act, while other politicians were mostly detained under different sections of the criminal procedure code.
JK Admin withdraws security advisory for tourists
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday withdrawn the security advisory for tourists visiting the valley state. The administration also assured tourists of providing all kinds of assistance and logistic support.
“Security advisory requesting tourists visiting J&K to curtail their stay in the Kashmir valley, is hereby withdrawn. Tourists desirous of undertaking visiting to the state shall be provided all necessary assistance & logistical support,” it said in a statement.
The move comes two days after Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik asked for lifting of the two-month-old advisory which had asked tourists to leave the valley.
The governor had directed officials to withdraw the advisory with effect from October 10. The advisory was issued on August 2, days before Article 370 was revoked.
JK Congress to boycott BDC polls
The Congress on Wednesday decided to boycott the Block Development Council (BDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir, citing “indifferent” attitude of the state administration and continued detention of senior party leaders.
The BDC polls is scheduled to be held in Jammu and Kashmir on October 24. These will be the first elections to be held in the state since its special status was revoked under Article 370 on August 5.
“The Congress believes in strengthening of democratic institutions and never shied away from any polls. But today, we are compelled to take a decision to boycott BDC polls due to indifferent attitude of the state administration and continued detention of senior party leaders in the valley,” state Congress president G.A. Mir told reporters in Jammu.
Mir, who was himself under house arrest in Jammu and was recently released, charged that the state administration deliberately created hurdles for mainstream parties in order to facilitate the win of the ruling BJP.
“They have kept leaders and cadres under detention and did not allow the political atmosphere and political activity to take place and the Congress was deliberately targeted in this exercise,” the PCC leader charged.
Despite expressing its reservation on the timing of the polls and ongoing security situation, the Congress along with the National Panthers party had last week decided to take part in the BDC elections.
Mir said the Congress had approached the State Election Commission to facilitate smooth movement of its leaders after deciding to take part in the exercise.
“We had issued letters to candidates for taking part in BDC polls so that we could contribute to the democratic exercise and some of our candidates also filed their nominations,” he said.
However, since today was the last day for filing of nomination papers by candidates, “we have decided to stay away from polls which should have been deferred taking into consideration the prevailing situation in the state as was demanded by all opposition political parties.”
Mainstream political leaders in the valley, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been either detained or placed under house arrest since the government announced dilution of provisions of Article 370 over two months ago.
The state administration said last week that political leaders under house arrest in Kashmir will be released in a phased manner after proper analysis of every individual.