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J&K CM hints more prisoners will be released

January 24, 2004 01:53 IST

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on Friday indicated that some more detenues would be released in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the second round of talks between Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani and the Hurriyat Conference headed by Maulana Abbas Ansari.

"Both central and state governments feel there is no need to keep our people in jails. After all, democracy is a battle of ideas. We have already released quite a number of persons while some others will also follow," he told reporters at Vijaypur, 30km from Jammu.

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He promised some concrete measures before Advani and Hurriyat leaders meet for the next round of talks in March.

Terming as 'historic' the first-ever meeting between Advani and the Hurriyat leadership, Sayeed said, "A job well begun is half done. It is good that the Hurriyat has expressed satisfaction over the talks.

"These talks reflect the positive attitude on both sides to resolve issues through dialogue. The process of dialogue has to move ahead and other sections would also be involved as the talks progress and there is no going back on dialogue."

Referring to the Hurriyat's demand for confidence-building measures, he said, "We are not implementing POTA, assimilated (the controversial) Special Operations Group in the police force and other steps taken by the government have brought down human rights violations."

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