Detained leaders in J&K to be released in gradual manner: MHA to MPs

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New Delhi: Top Union Home Ministry officials told MPs of both the Houses of Parliament on Friday that the situation in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is getting normal and the detained political leaders are being released gradually, but no timeline can be given for the rest of the leaders, sources said.

At a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma, the MPs quizzed Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and his team of officials on the prevailing situation in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and the steps taken to bring back normalcy there.

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This was for the first time that the meeting of the committee was held since August 5, when the central government abrogated the special status given to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and divided it into two Union Territories.

The home secretary conveyed to the MPs that situation in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir is getting normal, schools have been opened, while apple trading is going on, sources said.

Asked specifically about the release of detained political leaders, Bhalla and his team of officers said they are being released gradually but no timeframe about when the rest will be freed could be given, sources said.

The home ministry officials also told the parliamentarians that those who were detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) can challenge their detention in a designated tribunal and if not satisfied with its order, they can move the high court.