Srinagar, July 23: With Mainstream leaders demanding release of political prisoners before Eid-ul-Adha, it remains to be seen whether the Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu led administration will take a call over the issue, on the occasion of sacred festival that is to fall on Aug 1.
In the past, the J&K government used to release political prisoners ahead of Eid. What remains to be seen is whether the LG would follow the line being followed by all the successive regimes of Jammu and Kashmir to release political and other prisoners with minor offences on Eid eve.
A top official in the LG led administration told Kashmir Indepth News Service (KNS) that it was the sole prerogative of the LG to take a call on whether to release any prisoner on the eve of Eid.
“There are apprehensions that if some prisoners are released, it would have an adverse impact on the law and order situation, especially in the Valley, however discussions were on but final call will be taken by the LG himself,” the officer told KINS, wishing not to be named.
According to a senior police officer, there is a committee headed by the Commissioner Secretary home with DGP, IGP and many others as its members, who review the cases of prisoners ahead of every festival. “The cases of those who have fewer offences against them are being forwarded to the LG and it is up to him to decide on the names being suggested by the panel,” he said.
Pertinently, releasing political prisoners on the eve of Eid has always been a “goodwill gesture” and a confidence building measure taken by all the previous elected governments.
This time, what remains to be seen is that whether LG led administration would follow the same old tradition or decide to not to release any prisoner on Eid eve.
Sources in the LG led administration said that things will be clear after the review meeting. “Decks will be clear soon. There are obviously some prisoners who have minor offences against them that can be pardoned.” sources said.
At least 200 prisoners were shifted from the Srinagar central jail after the massive scuffle between inmates and jail authorities in April last year.
It is to mention here that some political leaders have demanded the release of political prisoners.
J&K parties, including the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Apni party, CPI (M), People’s Conference has demanded the release of all political leaders ahead of the upcoming Eid festival in the Valley.
Recently, J&K Apni Party delegation led by Muhammad Altaf Bukhari in a meeting with Lt Governor had demanded release of all Political prisoners.
Senior BJP leader Sofi yousuf has also demanded the release of all political and other detainees before Eid ul Azha as a Step to initiate political activities in the region.
“I request Government of India and Lt Governor Administration for the release of political prisoners ahead of the upcoming Eid festival,” Yousuf has said. (KINS)