New Delhi: With a few days left the Jammu and Kashmir Block Development Council election, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday decided to release all political leaders in Jammu, who were put under house arrest for more than a month now. However, political leaders in Kashmir will remain under house arrest.

Keeping in view the law and order situation in the valley state, the move came from the administration as the Block Development Council elections are scheduled to be held October 24.

“I was told last night that the restrictions on my movements and of my colleagues have been removed. On Gandhi Jayanti, we reiterate our firm resolve to uphold democracy, secularism, communal harmony and brotherhood which has been the cornerstone of the glorious ethos Jammu and Kashmir,” National Conference leader Devender Rana was quoted as saying by ANI.

“We pray to God to give the courage to be the torchbearers of the ray of hope that Mahatma Gandhi saw in Jammu and Kashmir in 1947. We will work to ensure that the ray of light always emanates from Jammu and Kashmir and its glow is seen across the country and the world,” he added.

The region was placed under a communications blockade and several mainstream political leaders were put under house arrest after the Central government on August 5 scrapped Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The political leaders in Jammu who were released from house arrest today include Devender Singh Rana, Raman Bhalla, Harshdev Singh, Chaudhary Lal Singh, Vikar Rasool, Javed Rana, Surjit Singh Slathia and Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo.

Post the abrogation of Article 370, nearly 400 political leaders, including former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah, were put under house arrest.

Notably, Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Sana Iltija Javed had in August written a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah saying that she was worried about her mother’s health and not being able to contact her.

The polling for over 300 Block Development Councils will be held on October 24 and counting will take place on the same day. Around 26,000 panchayat members are eligible to vote.

Recently, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar announced that the Jammu and Kashmir Block Development Council (BDC) elections will be held on October 24 and the counting of votes will take place the same day. “Block Development Council elections will be conducted on 24 Oct from 9 am till 1 pm, across J&K. Counting of votes will start at 3 pm on the same day,” Shailendra Kumar said.

According to the CEC, the elections will be held in 310 blocks out of 316 blocks in the valley state. “Block Development Council elections will be held in 310 blocks out of 316 blocks in the State,” Kumar added.