SRINAGAR: As many as 19 prominent National Conference leaders who are under house detention in different parts of the Kashmir valley since August last year, have sought immediate end to “illegal and unlawful” curbs on their “fundamental right to movement”.
The leaders, including party’s general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar and Kashmir provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, have sent identical letters to the Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary (Home), urging him to lift the restrictions on their movement.
In their letters, the NC leaders said they are being subjected to an “illegal confinement” and are suffering incarceration at their residences since August 5 last year, when the centre withdrew special status of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state and divided it into two union territories.
They said that no order for their detention has been served to them till date.
They said their fundamental right of movement has been illegally and unlawfully curtailed and any movement beyond the confines of the house has been restricted.
No order, whether preventive or otherwise, justifying such confinement has till date been served upon them, they have said.
Sagar, the Public Safety Act against whom was recently quashed by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, said that despite the court order, his movement has been restricted by the police.
The leaders said that either they should be given the order on their detention or they would move a court to get directions for their release.
The leaders, who also included former ministers Mohammad Shafi Uri, Abdul Rehman Rather, Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan and Mubarak Gul, said despite repeated requests to either set them free or provide them with orders specifying the arrest and grounds thereof, no steps have been taken till date.
Demanding immediate removal of all restrictions on their movement, the leaders threatened to take legal course to end their “illegal confinement”.
Most of these leaders, including former ministers and legislators, were taken into preventive custody or kept under house arrest on August 5 last year, when the Centre also announced revocation of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.
Three former chief ministers including National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah along with other leaders were released subsequently after revocation of the PSA against them.
Among others who have approached the home department include former ministers Aga Syed Roohullah, Mir Saifullah, Basharat Bukhari and Mohammad Khalil Bandh.__Kashmir Observer