Four months in detention, Jammu's National Conference call for release of ex-CMs

JAMMU: The National Conference in Jammu on Thursday demanded release of all political leaders including three former chief ministers of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Unanimously adopting a resolution commemorating the 114th birth anniversary of late Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, party leaders at an event held at party headquarters, urged the Centre to reach out to people of the Valley and understand their aspirations. The event started with religious prayers offered by various senior party leaders.

The three former CMs including - Dr Farooq Abdullah, son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti - have been under detention since the night of August 4, a day before the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into union territories. Mufti belongs to the Peoples Democratic Party, while the father-son duo are from the NC.

Speaking on the occasion, NC provincial president Devender Rana expressed grave concern over continued detention of party leadership for four months now, adding that slapping of Public Safety Act on Farooq Abdullah is most unfortunate, painful and highly deplorable. Demanding restoration of internet services across the Valley, Rana said lack of facility has adversely impacted traders, students, professionals and other segments of society.

Further, he said a call regarding the future strategy would be taken by the party's working committee, whose over 60 per cent members are currently under detention. Pointing out that no party functionary is accredited to dwell upon these issues, he said the NC has weathered political storms during most turbulent times especially during 1953, 1977 and 1984, and he exuded confidence in the party cadre.

Referring to various strides taken in the past, the NC leader spoke at length about the steps taken by the NC-led government in providing employment. Rane sought adequate funds for effective functioning of panchayats and adequate powers to Block Development Councils for achieving the overall objective of rural development.

He demanded the status of Minister of State for BDC Chairpersons, saying this will enable them to effectively monitor and ensure implementation of various schemes and programmes.

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