Srinagar, Nov 15: Centre’s fresh overtures have failed after incarcerated political leaders refused to sign the bonds to secure early release from jails.
At least 31 leaders of National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Conference and Jammu Kashmir Peoples Movement are under detention at the Centaur Hotel on the banks of Dal Lake since Centre abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two union territories.
Sources said authorities approached detainees several times in recent past to persuade them to sign a bond for their release. “Farooq, Omar, and Mehbooba have also been approached several times by authorities. They however have refused to sign the bond. These leaders are adamant and they won’t budge an inch from their stand on Article 370 and bifurcation of state,” sources said.
Officials said leaders will face prolonged detention and won’t be released unless they sign a bond. “Political leaders will be shifted from Centaur Hotel to a hotel in Sonawar or MLA hostel Srinagar,” they said.
Mehbooba’s daughter Iltija Mufti confirmed that government made several attempts to get her mother sign a bond, which she refused. “I don’t know when exactly she was recently approached for signing on bond”, she said.
National Conference MP from Anantnag, Justice (retd) Hasnian Masoodi said detention of political leaders was “unjustified without any legal grounds”.
“Why should political leaders sign bond to secure their release? Signing bonds will mean that were against peace. Government should understand what position they (political detainees) have held and their detention is unjustified,” Masoodi said.
Detainees are supposed to deposit Rs 10,000 as surety. And in case they breach the bond, they have to pay Rs 40,000. Under Section 107, the bail bond asks detainees “not to commit a breach of peace” or “do an act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace”.