- Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP and Abdullahs of the National Conference were booked under the stringent PSA
- ‘Pray for the early release of the detained Kashmiri leaders’
- ‘I also pray that once they are out, they work and contribute towards the improvement of the situation in Kashmir’
New Delhi: Veteran Jammu-Kashmir politicians including former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah, who have been in detention since August last year, has found support in unlikely quarters.
On Saturday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that he is praying for an early release of the detained former chief ministers of the erstwhile northern state. He expressed hope that three leaders will contribute in the normalisation of the security situation in the troubled region after their release.
On August 5, nearly all of the political leaders including the three veterans were placed in preventive detention as the Central government moved to abrogate sections of the Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories.
Although most of the politicians were released subsequently, Mehbooba Mufti of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Abdullahs of the National Conference were booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA). The government cited the alleged “provocative” statements given the three leaders before nullification of Article 370 as the reason for slapping PSA on them.
The defence minister denied that the government tortured anyone while in detention adding that as the situation normalises, a decision will be taken on their release.
In an exclusive interview to IANS on Saturday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “Kashmir has been peaceful. The situation is improving rapidly. Along with the improvement, these decisions (release of politicians from detention) will also be finalized. The government has not tortured anyone.”
He defended the government’s Kashmir moves asserting that “everybody should welcome” the same.
The Defence Minister said he will pray for the early release of the detained Kashmiri leaders. “I also pray that once they are out, they work and contribute towards the improvement of the situation in Kashmir,” the Union Minister said.