Srinagar, Feb 2: The
Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday released four Kashmiri political
leaders from detention. They were detained at the MLA Hostel in Srinagar since
the government abrogated the region’s special status under Article 370 of the
Constitution on August 5 and divided it into two Union Territories of Jammu and
Kashmir, and Ladakh.
The four were identified as National Conference leaders
Abdul Majeed Larmi, Ghulam Nabi Bhat, Muhammad Shafi, and Muhammad Yousuf Bhat.
With this release, 17 leaders of various parties in Kashmir
are still in detention at the MLA hostel.
This excluded three former chief ministers of the state –
National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, whose detention under the Public
Safety Act was extended by three months on December 15, his son Omar Abdullah
and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti.
Abdullah is confined to his Gupkar Road residence in
Srinagar. Omar Abdullah is at Hari Niwas, while Mehbooba Mufti was initially
lodged at Cheshmashahi hut, but was later shifted to a government
accommodation. The number of people still under house arrest is not clear.
On January 16, five more Kashmiri political leaders were
released from detention. Before that, five other politicians, including two
MLAs, were released from detention in the MLA hostel on December 30.
The Narendra Modi-led government has faced global pressure
to restore normalcy in the Valley. On January 24, the shutdown partially eased
up: the government allowed access to 301 websites related to banking, commerce,
education, entertainment, travel and news. No social media sites featured on
On the midnight of January 1, SMS services were restored.
The Ladakh administration had restored 4G mobile internet connectivity in
Kargil on December 27, after a gap of 145 days. Postpaid mobile phone services
had been restored across all networks in the Kashmir Valley on October 14.