SRINAGAR: Former minister and senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Naeem Akhtar was on Monday afternoon released from detention after nearly five months.
Naeem Sahab @shangpal being released after 5 months of detention . He was earlier detained for almost a year. All political prisoners languishing in jail's or preventive detention must be released given the prevailing situation. @madni_sartaj Sahab continues to be in detention.
— Mohit Bhan موہت بھان #SOSJK @jkcovid2021 (@buttkout) May 10, 2021
However, Akhtar has been placed under house arrest soon after his release today.
Naeem was detained on 21 December 2020 and was lodged at MLA hostel in Srinagar. He was earlier placed under detention on August 05, 2019, and was released nearly after ten months in 2020.
PDP spokesman, Najam-u-Saqib informed that Naeem Akhtar was handed over to Police Station Saddar today following which he was shifted to his residence in Humhama area in Srinagar outskirts.
“He has now been put under house detention,” he said.
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party has welcomed the release of its senior party leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar, after five months of “illegal incarceration” and sought the release of all political prisoners languishing in jails in and outside of J&K.
In a statement issued here party General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said the continued illegal incarceration of political leaders despite the raging pandemic belittles the claims of restoration of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir trumpeted by the government.
“Five months ago Naeem Sb and Sartaj sb were arbitrarily picked up on frivolous grounds and put in jail without any rhyme and reason. Despite their old age and numerous underlying medical issues, they were kept in detention even during the raging pandemic depicting the vindictiveness of the administration. Even after his release from jail, Naeem Akhtar continues to be under house arrest, ” Hanjura said.
Urging authorities to release senior party leader and former party VP, Sartaj Madni, Hanjura said given the prevailing health scare and lockdowns it makes no sense for the government to keep Madni under detention.
“When the whole of the country including J&K is under lockdown, people are restricted to their homes and Supreme Court urging government’s to decongest jails, what logic does it serve to keep a former legislator and a senior political leader under detention on unknown grounds. Given the Covid19 scare, the families cannot even meet them. The administration should give up on its Vindictiveness and release Sartaj sb immediately, ” Hanjura added.
“Isn’t it ironic that even after NIA gave bail to party youth president Waheed ur Rehman Parra, its state counterpart continues to detain him under similar charges for which the NIA court has already given him the bail for. The charges against Waheed are mendacious, politically motivated and reeks of vengeance. Authorities should immediately order his release and end his ordeal and long tryst with injustice, ” Hanjura said.
Hanjura also urged the government to release other political prisoners lodged in different jails in and outside of J&K on humanitarian grounds.