Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that the decision to detain three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir – Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Omar Abdullah – was a professional decision that was taken because of provocative statements they allegedly made, PTI reported on Friday. No one had called them “anti national”, Shah said at a news summit organised by ABP News on Thursday.

“Please see the statements made by them: like the entire country will be on fire if Article 370 was touched...In the backdrop of these statements, a professional decision was taken to keep them under detention for sometime,” Shah said at the summit.

A number of political leaders in the former state were detained from August 5 while the Narendra Modi government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status. Farooq Abdullah’s detention under the Public Safety Act was extended by three months on December 15. At the moment, he is confined to his Gupkar Road residence in Srinagar. Omar Abdullah is at Hari Niwas, while Mehbooba Mufti was initially lodged at Cheshmashahi hut, but was later shifted to a government accommodation.

Earlier this week, the administration of the Union Territory released five Kashmiri political leaders from detention. They were identified as Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar and Ghulam Nabi from the National Conference, and Yasir Reshi, Bashir Mir and Zahoor Mir from the Peoples Democratic Party. They had been kept at the MLA hostel in Srinagar. At the moment, Now, 25 political leaders are still in detention.

Asked when the three former chief ministers would be released, Shah said: “As far as the decision to release them is concerned, this decision will be taken by the local administration and not me.”

The home minister claimed the situation in Kashmir Valley was under control and daily life was going on smoothly. “Not a single inch in Kashmir is under curfew today,” he added. On Wednesday, the administration restored SMS services, which were shut down along with mobile internet and other forms of communications on August 5. Internet services, meanwhile, were restored in hospitals. On December 27, the Ladakh administration had restored 4G mobile internet connectivity in Kargil after a gap of 145 days.

However, mobile internet services remain blocked in the Valley. Postpaid mobile phone services were restored across all networks in the Valley on October 14.

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