Rising cold or hotel Bill?All detainees shifted out from Centaur

Srinagar, Nov 17: The administration on Sunday shifted all 34 detained leaders and representatives of various political parties from Centaur to MLA hostel at MA Road here.

Sources told The Kashmir Monitor that the leaders were moved out after bills in Centaur – the hotel on the banks of Dal which was converted into a sub-jail – plummeted beyond Rs 3 crore even as the government and the hotel management had some disagreement on the tariff.

Prevailing cold weather was another reason for the decision to shift the leaders to a new location, sources added. The MLA hostel too has been declared as a sub-jail.

Those shifted out included: Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Lone, NC leaders Ali Sagar, Mubarak Gul, Altaf Kaloo, IshfaqJabbar, Irfan Shah, Bashir Veeri; PDP leaders Nizamuddin Bhat, Naeem Akhter, Yasir Reshi, Khurshid Aalam, Waheed Parra, Ashraf Mir, Zahoor Mir, Ajaz Mir, and Mohammad Yousuf Bhat.

IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal and Deputy Mayor of SMC Sheikh Imran too were among those shifted out to the new detention centre.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti claimed that Sajad, Parra, and Shah Faesal were “roughed up” during the transfer.

“SKICC detainees shifted to MLA hostel, Srinagar today. Police manhandled them & roughed up Sajad Lone, Waheed Para & Shah Faesal. Is this how you treat elected representatives? Why humiliate them? J&K is under martial law & police seems be inebriated with power,” Iltija tweeted from Mehbooba’s handle.

“The same Waheed Para whose work for strengthening democracy in J&K was lauded by former Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh.The very same Shah Faesal who was called Kashmir’s role model when he topped UPSC exam. Once appreciated & now humiliated. Why?” the Twitter thread added.

Police, however, denied all such reports. 

“Apropos some twitter handle claiming manhandling of some people at MLA hostel Srinagar, it is hereby clarified that no such incident has taken place. Mandatory security drills were followed as required for lodgement,” senior J&K cop Imtiyaz Hussain wrote on Twitter.

The leaders were put under preventive detention in August when government of India abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the J&K state into union territories.

In Centaur, the authorities had booked 42 rooms for the detained leaders. While the average one day tariff for a room in Centaur is around Rs 7000, the authorities, sources added, were ready to pay only Rs 800 a day.

The administration, sources said, had rejected the tariff and argued that the facility was converted into a subsidiary jail on August 5 and therefore, government rates would be paid.

The decision to shift the political leaders comes days after PDP leader and former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti was shifted from Cheshmashahi to a government guest house at MA Road here.

The Abdullahs – Farooq and Omar – however, haven’t been shifted anywhere. While Farooq, who was slapped with Public Safety Act, has been put in his home, Omar is lodged at Hari Niwas guest house designated as sub jail.

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About the Author

A journalist by chance with over five years of experience in reporting, editing, and bucketing local, national and international content for my current organization. I have covered education, health, politics, and human rights. I like working for a daily, though I occasionally try my pen in long-form to connect personal narratives with history.

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