Farooq Abdullah (PTI photo)SRINAGAR: National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah held a meeting on Friday with the second batch of party leaders who were under detention for over a year, a party spokesperson said.
“Round two of the meeting at the residence of the party president was held on Friday. The attendees included Mubarak Gul, Choudhary Ramzaan, Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Shameema Firdous and Basharat Bukhari. These leaders, who were under detention or house arrest, met Abdullah after more than a year,” he said.
The spokesperson said the leaders were among the 16 politicians of Jammu and Kashmir for whom habeas corpus petitions were filed by Abdullah and his son and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah, but the government claimed in the high court that they were free and not under detention.
He said NC’s provincial president, Kashmir Nasir Aslam Wani, treasurer Shammi Oberoi and political advisor to the party president Mushtaq Guroo were also present at the meeting.
On Wednesday, the NC 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, who the party claimed were in illegal confinement, was detained and that they were free to move around.
After Thursday’s meeting with the first batch of party leaders, the NC said the deliberations will continue with others on Friday.
The Abdullahs had filed a bunch of habeas corpus petitions in the high court on July 13, seeking the release of party leaders and contending that they were being held in a “brazen violation” of the right to liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution.
A habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or a court, especially to secure his release unless lawful grounds are shown for his detention.
Filing the replies before the court earlier this month, Senior Additional Advocate General Bashir Ahmad Dar said the contention in the pleas was “not only surprising, but shocking as well” as there were neither any legal proceedings underway nor was it being contemplated.
Meanwhile, the NC said as part of the programme, eight other party leaders — Bashir Veeri, Irfan Shah, Aga Mehmood, Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Saifudin Shutru, Abdul Majid Larmi, GN Adgami and Hilal Lone — who have been under incarceration since August last year have been called by the party chief at his residence on Saturday.
The NC spokesperson also said the party president earlier paid a visit to the Charar-e-Sharief in Budgam district, where he paid obeisance at the revered shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Noor-Ud-Din Noorani (RA).
Senior NC leaders Abdul Rahim Rather, Muhammad Shafi Uri, Nasir Aslam Wani, Muhammad Akbar Lone, Hasnain Masoodi and Shammi Oberoi accompanied the party president to the shrine, he added.
Interacting with a small number of devotees at the shrine, Abdullah asked them to seek the almighty’s atonement for salvaging the entire mankind from the prevailing COVID-19-induced crisis.
He urged them to abide by the teachings of the holy Quran, the “Sunnah” of the Holy Messenger of Islam (PBUH) and the teachings of the revered sufi saints.
“The Holy Book of Quran guides us to be cognizant and conscious of god, of truth, of the piety and the fear of god. The revered Sufi saints not just followed the principles laid down by the Holy Quran and Hadith, but also taught the same to scores of others.
“They spearheaded a mass social movement in Kashmir, following the teachings of our patron-saint Sheikh Noor-Ud-Din Noorani (RA). These great men, besides achieving higher stations in the realm of spirituality, also educated the masses in their native Kashmiri language about the various facets of religion and spirituality,” Abdullah said.
The NC president prayed for the return of the healthier times and well-being of people as also for peace, prosperity and brotherhood in Jammu and Kashmir, the party spokesperson said.