Omar to Mehbooba: release arrested youth, withdraw cases

Mohammad Athar

Srinagar, November 28

Jammu and Kashmir’s main opposition leader Omar Abdullah on Monday asked the Chief Minister Mehbooba to release thousands of youth who have been arrested during the ongoing unrest and withdraw cases against them.

Omar, who is the working president of National Conference party, while responding to the Chief Minister’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi said suggested to Mehbooba that she should “start releasing the many thousands that have been arrested”.

“How about you start releasing the many 1000s that have been arrested & withdraw cases? That doesn’t require Delhi to act,” Omar wrote on Twitter. The tweet was a response to reports that Mehbooba has asked the Prime Minister to initiate confidence building measures to reach out to people of the state.

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Omar, however, was quick to criticise the Chief Minister, who is also her political arch-rival. “True to form  Mehbooba Mufti will look to the centre for everything because she has surrendered all the authority of her office,” Omar said.

Nearly 7000 youth have been arrested during the five-month long unrest in Kashmir as police launched one of its biggest crackdown against protesters and registered over 2000 cases. Most of the arrested youth have been released on bail, while hundreds remain lodged in jails outside Kashmir valley.

The unrest in the region was sparked on July 8, when a militant commander Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight in remote village of south Kashmir. The unrest, that has continued for past five months, resulted in one of the most widespread spell of protests and demonstrations in the region.

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