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Opposition parties stage stir, demand release of leaders detained in J&K

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: August 22, 2019  | 13:51 IST

(Eds: Updating with details) New Delhi, Aug 22 (PTI) Opposition parties, including the Congress, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the DMK, staged a protest at Jantar Mantar here on Thursday, demanding the release of the political leaders under detention in Jammu and Kashmir. Congress leader P Chidambaram's son Karti also joined the protest. Chidambaram, a former Union finance minister, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday night in connection with a money-laundering case related to INX Media. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja, Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav, Loktantrik Janata Dal's Sharad Yadav, RJD's Manoj Jha and TMC's Dinesh Trivedi were among those who took part in the protest. In a resolution passed during the protest, the opposition parties said as a consequence of abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution without holding consultations with the people of the state or their representatives, an undeclared state of Emergency had come to force in the Valley. "We stand by the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their difficult hour. The decisions taken by the Union government to impose a complete communication blackout and the continued detention of former chief ministers and political leaders...members of civil society and even innocent citizens running into thousands are matters of serious concern. "There has been a chilling crackdown on free speech and the right of assembly. Such actions go against the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India and need to be immediately reversed. We demand immediate release of all public representatives of mainstream political parties and innocent citizens," the resolution said. The leaders raised slogans demanding restoration of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, resumption of telecommunication services in the Valley and immediate release of all political leaders who have been detained. The National Conference, whose leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah are among those detained in the Valley after the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5, also took part in the protest. PTI GVS ASG RC

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