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J&K: Prominent separatist leader released from detention

By Mukhtar Ahmad
October 20, 2009 22:16 IST
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A prominent separatist leader, Shabir Shah, was on Tuesday evening released after months of detention after the Jammu and Kashmir government revoked his detention under the stringent Public Safety Act. Shah was arrested in June this year during protests against the rape and murder of two women in south Kashmir's Shopian town.

Shah's release comes days after the restrictions on the movement of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani were lifted on the orders of the state high court.

"In line with government's policy to release political detenues in view of improving law and order situation, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today ordered release of Shabir Shah, who was under detention under PSA," an official statement on Tuesday evening said.

Analysts in Srinagar attribute the release of Shah to the recent statement of Union home minister P Chidambaram that the Centre was ready to hold talks with all shades of political opinion in Jammu and Kashmir to evolve 'a unique solution to the problem in the state.'

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar