The Centre on Wednesday refused to share any timeline for the release of political detainees in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5 when it diluted provisions of Article 370 that accorded special status to the region.
Three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti — and several political leaders, separatists have been kept under detention for more than four months now.
The government said that several detentions were made to maintain public order, prevent activities that impose a threat to security and breach of peace in the aftermath of abrogation of Article 370.
“To prevent commission of offences involving breach of peace, activities prejudicial to the security of the State and maintenance of public order, 5161 persons including political leaders, workers, stone pelters, OGWs and separatists were taken into preventive custody in the Valley since August 4,” Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said in Rajya Sabha.
The MHA further asserted that “since these detentions have been made under statutory provisions by the concerned magistrates based on their satisfaction in each case, it is not possible for the government to give any timelines for their release.”
“Out of 5,161 detainees, presently, 609 persons are under preventive detentions which include 218 stone pelters,” he said in a written reply to a question regarding militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.
He noted that as many as 194 cases have been registered in Jammu and Kashmir for breach of peace since August 5 when the Centre announced abrogation of Article 370 provisions and the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.
Commenting on the financing of militants and separatists, the government claimed that illegal money is being sent through hawala channels from across the border to finance terror-related activities, stone-pelting and attack on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Investigation has revealed that several groups and activists who are part of Hurriyat have been behind the incidents of stone pelting in Kashmir valley. The NIA has chargesheeted 18 persons in the terror funding cases so far,” the minister said.
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