New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said a decision on releasing detained political leaders, including three former chief ministers, in Jammu and Kashmir will be taken by the local administration and the central government will not interfere in the matter.
The minister's statement came after Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asked the government when political leaders, including sitting member and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, would be released.
"We don't want to keep them (the leaders) even a day extra in jail, when administration thinks its right time, political leaders will be released. Farooq Abdullah's father Sheikh Abdullah was kept in jail for 11 years by Congress, we don't want to follow them, as soon as the administration decides, they will be released," Amit Shah said. The Home Minister added that there will be no interference from his side.
Amit Shah also questioned the opposition on its notion of normalcy. "99.5% students sat for exams there, but for Adhir Ranjan ji this is not normalcy, 7 lakh people availed OPD services in Srinagar. Curfew and Section 144 removed from everywhere. But for Adhir ji only parameter for normalcy is political activity. What about local body polls which were held?" said the Home Minister.
Pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continue to remain suspended in the Valley since August 5 when the Centre announced the decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.
Most of the top-level and second-rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have been either detained or placed under house arrest.
The government has detained sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the controversial Public Safety Act, a law enacted by his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 when he was the chief minister.