A 15-member National Conference (NC) delegation on Sunday met with party president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah, a day after governor Satya Pal Malik allowed the meeting.
The NC delegation, led by Jammu provincial president Devender Singh Rana, flew in to Srinagar early Sunday for the meeting.
“If the political process has to start then mainstream leaders have to be released,” said Rana after meeting the leaders, adding, “they are both well and in high spirits, of course they are pained by the developments in the state, particularly about the lockdown.”
Farooq Abdullah is under house arrest at his Srinagar residence while his son Omar is detained at a state guest house.
When asked whether the NC will fight the upcoming Block Development Council (BDC ) elections, Rana said,”if the political process has to start then these people have to be released. Even if we want to contest the BDC elections, the 380 panchayats that exist, if we get the people to sign the mandate, the mandate has to signed by party president Farooq abdullah, who has been unfortunately detained under PSA. Let them be released and then the working committee of the party will meet and formulate a strategy for the future (sic).”
NC spokesperson Madan Mantoo on Saturday said the decision to meet the two leaders was taken during an emergency meeting of the senior functionaries and district presidents of Jammu on Wednesday, soon after restrictions on the movement of Jammu-based National Conference leaders were lifted.He also said that the party was anguished over the continued detention of senior leaders as also the other top leaders of the mainstream political parties.
The Abdullahs are among over 500 political leaders and activists in the Kashmir Valley who have been under detention since the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.
The J-K administration had said on Thursday political leaders and activists under detention in Kashmir will be released in a phased manner after an analysis of each individual.
“Yes, one by one after analysis of every individual, they will be released,” Farooq Khan, advisor to J&K governor said, responding to a query on whether Kashmiri leaders will be released after leaders from Jammu region have been released.