Peoples Democratic Party leader Sartaj Madni was on Saturday released after six months of detention, reported PTI. This came hours after PDP chief and Madni’s niece Mehbooba Mufti received an invitation from the Centre for talks with the regional parties of Jammu and Kashmir.
Officials said that a police team is on its way to Srinagar to take the politician home. “The police team will hand him over to his family in the South Kashmir district,” the officials added.
Madni was detained on December 21, a day ahead of the counting of votes of the District Development Council elections. Several other PDP and National Conference leaders, including Mansoor Hussain, Naeem Akhtar, Peer Mansoor and Hilal Ahmad Lone, were detained that day.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to chair the meeting with all Jammu and Kashmir’s political parties on June 24 as part of the Centre’s initiatives to boost the political processes, including the holding of Assembly elections, in the Union Territory.
Mufti has said that her party’s political affairs committee will take a call on whether to participate in the Centre’s meeting. Madni is also a member of the committee.
Madni is among the political leaders who were detained after the Centre revoked Article 370 special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, reported The New Indian Express. He was also charged with the Public Safety Act which was later withdrawn.
On Saturday, Mufti said she was “relieved” that Madni was released. “It’s high time that GOI [government of India] releases political prisoners & other detainees rotting in jails in & outside J&K,” she tweeted. “A raging [Covid-19] pandemic should’ve been reason enough to free them.”