New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir politician Sajad Lone was on Friday released from detention after nearly a year, just five days before the first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5. Hours after the announcement last year, Lone was among a host of leaders from the Valley who were put under house arrest, to prevent a possible law and order situation there in the wake of the Article 370 move. Also Read - Article 370: Will Not Contest Assembly Elections Till J&K Remains UT, Vows Omar Abdullah
While for the first six months, from August to January, he was lodged at Srinagar’s MLA Hostel, on February 5 this year, he was shifted to his government accommodation at Church Lane.
“Finally five days short of a year, I have been officially informed that I am a free man. So much has changed. So have I. Jail was not a new experience. Earlier ones were harsh with usual doses of physical torture. But this was psychologically draining. Much to share hopefully soon,” Lone, the president of Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference (JKPC), tweeted after his release.
Welcoming the development, National Conference (NC) vice president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who himself was released in March, tweeted: “Good to hear that Sajad Lone has been released from illegal house arrest. I hope others under similar illegal detention will also be released without delay”.
Just days before Omar Abdullah was released, his father and NC president Farooq Abdullah, himself a former Chief Minister, was also set free.
However, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti, another former Chief Minister who was detained, is yet to be released.
Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are now two separate union territories, officially achieving the status on October 31. The decision was taken as a part of the August 5 move.