New political party being launched in Kashmir, 3 ex-CMs still under detention

New political party being launched in Kashmir, 3 ex-CMs still under detention

Srinagar: A new political party is being launched by former ministers and legislatures tomorrow in Jammu and Kashmir, where three ex-Chief Ministers are under detention since August 5, when the Centre abrogated special status of the state and divided it into two Union Territories (UTs).

About 50 leaders of different political parties, including former ministers and legislators were arrested after August 5. However, over 30 leaders of NC, PDP and Congress were released from time to time after they gave an undertaking that they will not raise the issue of Article 370, 35 A and division of the state into two UTs.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of former finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday said a new political party will launched in Srinagar on Sunday.

He said Mr Bukhari, who was a ministers in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government in the state, will launch the new party at a function at his residence in the civil lines tomorrow afternoon.

Mr Bukhari, a businessman-turned politician, and several other PDP leaders were expelled from the party after they met members of European and other countries during their visit to Kashmir after the special status of the state was abrogated by the Centre. The party would be named as ‘Apni Party’.

They had also met Lt Governor G C Murmu when their party president Mehbooba Mufti and several other PDP leaders are under detention.

Ms Mufti has been detained under Public Safety Act (PSA) after the period of her precautionary detention for 70 days ended last month. However, her detention has been challenged by her daughter Ilteja in the Supreme Court. She was charged among other things for the colour of her party flag ‘green’.

Interestingly, when Ms Mufti and other PDP leaders were under detention, PDP patron Muzaffar Hussain Baig was awarded Padma Bhushan by the Centre. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian award, for his ‘contribution to public affairs.’ He is among 16 individuals whose names have been announced for the honour. Mr Baig had said the award was not for him but for people of Kashmir.

Former education minister and chief spokesperson of the PDP-BJP coalition government before it collapsed after saffron party pulled out, Naeem Akhtar and several other leaders also remained under detention.

Two former CMs—National Conference (NC) president Dr Farooq Abdullah and his son and NC Vice president Omar Abdullah—and several other leaders also remained under detention. However, detention under PSA of Omar has been challenged in the Apex court by his sister. The Apex court has now decided to take up the case after Holi.

The other leaders under detention, including house arrest, included former minister in PDP-BJP government Sajjad Gni Lone from the quota of saffron party. He was among the leaders who strongly opposed abrogation of Article 370. Besides former IAS topper turned politician Dr Shah Faesal also remained under detention.