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J&K to set up committee on release of militants
Anil Bhat in Jammu | December 09, 2002 15:07 IST
The Jammu and Kashmir government will soon set up a five-member joint screening committee to decide on the release of political prisoners and militants in the state. The principal secretary of the state home ministry will head the committee.
The committee will also include the director general of police, additional director general of the Criminal Investigation Department, the state intelligence chief, and the director general of Jammu and Kashmir prisons, sources said. The joint director of the Intelligence Bureau will be a permanent representative of the central government on the committee.
Although the committee has been set up, formal orders will be issued in the next few days. There are no major releases of militants lined up till the end of the Gujarat election, where one of the partners of the People's Democratic Party-led coalition government, the Congress, is locked in a crucial electoral battle with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
"It is not due to pressure of the Centre that the state government has gone slow on the release of militants and political prisoners, but due to the election in Gujarat, where the BJP is using the militants-release card against its rival Congress," a state government official said.
The releases will start again after December 12, when Gujarat goes to the polls. Unlike the previous government, the state government on the occasion of Eid-Ul-Fitr did not release militants whose detention term under the Public Safety Act is going to expire soon.
The previous National Conference government had released 27 militants in 2001, 24 in 1999, and 21 in 1998 during Eid.
More reports from Jammu and Kashmir
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