People must be released for political process to start: NC delegation while meeting Farooq and Omar

Srinagar: National Conference leaders met with party President Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah detained in their houses on Sunday. Senior party leader Devindra Rana led the Jammu delegation of National Conference. NC MPs from Kashmir — Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone — also met with Farooq and Omar.

Farooq, flanked by his wife Molly, came out of the house to greet the visiting delegation. He waved to the media persons waiting outside his house and showed victory signs. After the meeting, Rana told reporters that for any political process to begin, political leadership must be released. “There is anguish about developments in the state, particularly about the lockdown in place. We, as a party, appeal that for the political process to begin and democracy to revive in Jammu and Kashmir, political detainees, from mainstream political parties or otherwise, who have no criminal record, be released. This will initiate the process, and the hearts and minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir will be won,” Rana said.

On a question about the party’s participation in block development committee elections, Rana said, “There is a complete lockdown. If the political process has to start, then these members have to be released.”

Abdullahs are among dozens of politicians, who are either under detention or house arrest in Kashmir since August 5. Earlier this week Jammu-based NC leaders discussed the political situation in the state, soon after they were released from house detention. “We had a half-hour-long meeting with both leaders. They are in good spirits,” Masoodi said.

Sources indicate that a delegation of People’s Democratic Party workers will be meeting with PDP President Mehbooba Mufti. The latter has been detained in a guest house in Chashma Shahi, Srinagar.

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