New Delhi: In a bid to escape their prison cells, at least five political leaders in the Kashmir Valley have signed bond to secure their release, which may put their political carrier to an end, according to officials.
Those who signed the bonds include Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, two former legislators of the National Conference, one former legislator of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and a Peoples’ Conference leader.
They were detained under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC). The politicians who signed the bonds gave an undertaking that they would not indulge in any ‘political activity’ after their release.
“If a person detained under Section 107 of the Cr.PC signs a bond and then violates it, then legal proceedings, including arrest, can be initiated. The prohibited activities include giving political speeches”, said the officials.
Since August 5, when Union Home Minister Amit Shah moved the Rajya Sabha to abrogate the “special status” of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, several leaders were placed under detention and house arrest.
The J&K Assembly had been dissolved by Governor Satyapal Malik on November 21 last year.
The government-owned Centaur Hotel in Srinagar was turned into a subsidiary jail, and as of now, at least 36 leaders, including former bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal, are lodged there. None of the detainees, including Peoples’ Conference chairman Sajad Lone and PDP youth wing leader Waheed Para, had, however, agreed to sign the bonds so far.
In August, close to 3,000 detentions were made but subsequently two-thirds were released. “So, effectively, around 1,000 persons are still detained and that includes troublemakers and habitual pelters of stones who have more than five-six cases registered against each of them,” said another government official.
Restrictions in most parts of the Valley had been lifted and plans were afoot to operationalize connections of post-paid mobile numbers of the BSNL any time.