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Article 370: Govt begins process to release political leaders in a phased manner


New Delhi, Aug 28: In a bid to further restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Government has initiated the process to gradually release political leaders, who had been placed under house arrest in the wake of Article 370 being abrogated.

The Union Home Ministry, following a highlevel, meeting had directed the J&K administration to finalise the names of those politicians to be released in the first phase.

File photo of Omar Abdullah and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti

This comes in the backdrop of the government reaching out to former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah in a bid to create some political dialogue.

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Even as the government lifted restrictions from 12 more police stations areas in Kashmir, it has also been decided to release, former minister, Imran Ansari. A prominent Shia priest, Ansari had complained of ill-health. Following his release, he would be allowed to attend the Shia tazia, a commemoration on the occasion of Muharram.

The procession, which would be held next week is under close watch and would be accorded tight security as the police have said that it could turn into an anti-India protest.

Officials are also speaking with both Mehbooba and Abdullah in a bid to create political dialogue. Both leaders have been under house arrest since August 4, a day before the decision on Article 370 was announced. However, the officials are treading with caution on this move. They want the two leaders to come out and spread the right message to the people. However, there is also a risk that the two could fan sentiments and worsen the situation.

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It would not be a knee jerk reaction, a source tells OneIndia. We want to tread cautiously and only then take a call on whether they can be released from house arrest. The government wants to conduct elections in the state and this would be possible once normalcy is restored fully. The government is keen on making the elections a success.

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