India frees top Kashmir politician after months of detention
Indian authorities on Friday ordered the release of Kashmir’s most prominent politician, Farooq Abdullah, one of dozens of leaders held since August, when the federal government withdrew the troubled region’s autonomy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said at the time that ending Kashmir’s special status was necessary for closer integration of the Muslim majority territory into the rest of India.
The government imposed a communication blackout with mobiles phones, internet links and landlines down and the detentions of scores of people including Abdullah to prevent large scale protests from erupting over the loss of autonomy for Kashmir.
The federal government said those measures were necessary to stop separatists and militants from stirring trouble. The government did not offer any reason on Friday for Abdullah’s release when it made the announcement.
Abdullah, a former chief minister, told reporters he was happy to be free, but there were many others still under detention including his son and also a former chief minister Omar.