Millennium Post

Abdullahs' pleas for release of 16 NC leaders: J&K admin tells HC none of them detained

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has informed the high court that none of the 16 National Conference leaders, for whom the party's president Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah had filed a bunch of habeas corpus petitions seeking their release, had been detained and that they were free to move "with certain precautions" as deemed fit for their security.

Filing responses to the pleas before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, senior additional advocate general Bashir Ahmad Dar said it was "not only surprising but shocking as well" as there was neither any legal proceedings underway nor was being contemplated.

The similarly worded replies, which have been vetted by the Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range), however, said that in wake of constitutional amendments carried out in August last year, "it was apprehended that inimical elements may disturb the peace" and the leaders "may provoke them to cause aggravation in the disturbance".

However, no order of detention either under preventive detention law or substantive law was issued against any of the leaders, it said, adding they were free to move with certain precautions "as deemed fit" for their security.

The reply said that the petitioner being a categorised person has been advised not to visit any vulnerable areas without informing the authorities concerned and reasoned that it was to ensure proper security.

The Abdullahs had filed 16 petitions on July 13 for 16 NC leaders contending that they were being held in "brazen violation" of constitutional guarantees of right to liberty.

The writ petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution lists NC general secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar, provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, senior leader Aga Syed Mehmood, party's chief spokesman Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, among the leaders being detained at their residences illegally and wrongfully without serving them grounds of detention.

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