Although no official reason has been specified for the decision to move the detainees, it is said that the state administration has been billed Rs 3.28 crore for housing the 34 detainees there.
Three months after Article 370 was scrapped, scores of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir detained at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) are likely to be shifted to Srinagar’s MLA hostel, The Indian Express reported.
Although no official reason has been specified for the decision to move the detainees, it is said that the state administration has been billed Rs 3.28 crore for housing the 34 detainees there. The development comes after the authorities faced flak after Centaur Hotel submitted a Rs 2.68 lakh bill to the Home department to keep the ‘prisoners’ in the establishment.
The SKICC lies adjacent to the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC)-owned Centaur Hotel, which is located on the bank of famous Dal Lake in Srinagar.
The SKICC has been turned into a subsidiary jail since August 5 in order to house a large number of detainees. The detention of political leaders has virtually crippled the routine business of the convention centre and no programme has been organised there in the last three months.
Among those detained at the SKICC are People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone, senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar, PDP’s youth wing president Waheed ur Rehman Para, senior NC leader Ali Mohammad Sagar, and bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal.
The political detainees who have been released so far were made to sign a “bond to maintain peace” under CrPC Section 107. At least 50 political detainees have been released so far on the bond to maintain peace across the Valley, including 15 from SKICC.
Three former Chief Ministers — Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti — also remain detained for the last three months. Farooq Abdullah is booked under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978 and has been kept at his Gupkar residence in Srinagar since September 14. Omar Abdullah and Mufti remained lodged in government guest houses in Srinagar.