Srinagar, Mar 15: Dr Farooq Abdullah who tasted freedom after facing detention under Public Safety Act for over 7 months, Sunday pitched for the release of political leaders in Kashmir.
Several delegations arrived at his Gupkar based residence in Srinagar to meet Farooq Abdullah. Davinder Singh Rana, Surjeet Singh Salathia and others met him on Sunday.
Many reporters also thronged at his residence to know about his latest point of view regarding prevailing Kashmir situation and the meeting of Prime Minister Modi with newly floated political party of Jammu and Kashmir politicians.
Farooq Abdullah declined to talk on the subject but demanded the release of political prisoners. “I appeal all the political parties to unite and ask for the freedom of all detainees lodged in outside jails,” he said.
“Before we allow politics to divide us, I appeal to all political leaders in the state to unite behind the call to the union government to bring back all detainees from Jammu and Kashmir from prisons outside the state pending their release.”
“While we would like to see them all released as soon as possible, pending that they should be shifted to JK. This is a humanitarian demand and I hope others will join me in placing this demand in front of the government of India,” he concluded.
Later on Farooq Abdullah issued a statement to press that read: “I have consciously avoided making any political statements since I was released from detention on the 13th of March. While I believe a free & frank exchange of political views is essential so that we can take stock of the momentous changes that J&K has seen after 5th August 2019 we are still some way away from an environment where such political discourse will be possible. This is especially so considering the number of people detained in August last year who remain in jails outside J&K.
“I am acutely aware that compared to hundreds of Kashmiri families I have been far more fortunate. I was detained at home & my family had access to me. Yesterday when I went to meet my son Omar, also detained under the Public Safety Act, I had to travel a kilometre from my home to be able to see him. For families of most of the detainees meeting their loved ones is not nearly as easy. Their loved ones have been detained in jails spread across a number of states. They get two visits a month for which they have to spend large sums of money they can ill afford traveling to & staying in the vicinity of these prisons.”
“The already onerous financial burden is made worse by the health risk they now face because of COVID-19. At a time when people are being advised not to travel these families are being forced to put their lives at risk in order to meet their loved ones for a few short but very precious hours.”
“Before we allow politics to divide us I appeal to all political leaders here to unite behind the call to the union government to bring back all detainees from J&K in prisons outside pending their release. While we would like to see them all released as soon as possible, pending that they should be shifted to J&K. This is a humanitarian demand & I hope others will join me in placing this demand in front of the government of India.”