Farooq Abdullah holds meeting with 2nd batch of leaders

National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Friday held a meeting with the second batch of party leaders who were under detention for  over a year, a party spokesman said.

“The attendees included Mubarak Gul, Choudhary Ramzaan, Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Shameema Firdous and Basharat Bukhari. These members who were under detention or house arrest met Abdullah after over a year,” the spokesman said.

He said these leaders are among the 16 politicians for whom haebas corpus petitions were filed by Farooq Abdullah and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah, but the government claimed in the high court that they were free and not under detention.

The spokesman said party’s provincial president Kashmir Nasir Aslam Wani, treasurer Shammi Oberoi and political advisor to the NC president Mushtaq Guroo were also present in round two of the meeting held on Friday.

The National Conference on  Wednesday decided to convene a meeting of its senior leaders on Thursday after the local administration informed the Jammu and Kashmir High Court that none of the 16 leaders, that the party claimed were in illegal confinement, were detained and that they were free to move around.

After the Thursday’s meet, the NC said the meeting with other leaders would continue on Friday.

The Abdullah father-son duo had filed a bunch of habeas corpus petitions on July 13 seeking the release of the leaders, contending that they were being held in “brazen violation” of constitutional guarantees of the right to liberty.

A habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention. Filing the replies before the high court earlier this month, Senior Additional Advocate General Bashir Ahmad Dar said the contention of the pleas was “not only surprising but shocking as well” as there were neither any legal proceedings underway nor was it being contemplated.