Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday met Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, who was released from detention after seven months on Friday, in Srinagar ANI reported. Abdullah was seen standing next to Azad but did not speak to the media.
At the press conference, Azad called for the release of all political leaders detained since the Centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August last year. “If J&K [Jammu and Kashmir] has to progress, then all political leaders under detention in Srinagar must be released,” Azad said. “Political process must begin in Jammu and Kashmir. Elections must be conducted.”
Azad added that he was delighted by Abdullah’s release. “It is matter of great happiness for me, he said. “He [Abdullah] was detained for all these months, the reason for his detention is not known to me.”
Before meeting Azad, Abdullah had an emotional reunion with his son Omar Abdullah, who has also been in detention since August last year, PTI reported. He drove from his residence to the nearby Hari Niwas, where Omar Abdullah has been held. The two spent an hour together. He had asked authorities for permission to meet his son for the first time since their detention.
After being released on Friday, Abdullah thanked the people who prayed for him and said that he will not speak on any political matter until other political leaders are released.
In September, Abdullah was charged under the stringent Public Safety Act, which allows a person to be detained without a trial for three to six months. It was extended by three months in December. His son Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti, both former chief ministers, continue to be detained under the Public Safety Ac. Several Opposition leaders have questioned the government’s move to charge the politicians under the stringent law.