BJP puts brakes on ‘prisoners release’

Srinagar: The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday opposed any move related to the release of political prisoners in Kashmir, stating that those in jails are ‘anti-nationals’ and not political leaders.

“The issue related to the release of political prisoners is misnomer. There are no political leaders in prisons. Those who are in jails are anti-national elements and having ties with the militants. We will strongly oppose their release,” BJP’s general secretary Ashok Koul told a local news gathering agency.

 He added that there are no leaders of NC, PDP, BJP or Congress languishing in jails and if that would have been the case, debate was must then.

“But you are talking about the separatists and militants and those having established links with the militants. Why should they be freed if it is the law that has punished them,” Koul said.

 The BJP General Secretary added that his party has already welcomed the release of first time stone pelters in Kashmir and has even pitched for their economic and social rehabilitation.

“And we wonder how come someone talk about the release of the dreaded militant sympathizers and label them as political leaders. We want the law to take its own course and be respected by one and all.” Koul said.

Importantly, the PDP had earlier pitched for the release of the political leadership from jails, terming such a measure imperative for dialogue and reconciliation.

 Last week on Saturday, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had asked the government that if the authorities were serious to hold dialogue and there was a change of heart then they should release all the political prisoners without any further delay. (KNS)

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