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Ex-RAW Chief Met Farooq Abdullah to ‘Gauge His Mood on Art 370’

Dulat, who had been wanting to meet the former CM for several months, was finally given the nod earlier this month.

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India
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Former RAW Chief AS Dulat embarked on a top secret mission to Srinagar in early February for the government in order to gauge the mood of detained National Conference (NC) leader and former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah about “accepting the new reality of Jammu & Kashmir after the nullification of Article 370”, Hindustan Times reported quoting senior officials.

Dulat, who had been wanting to meet the former chief minister for several months, was finally given the nod earlier this month, according to HT.

Dulat, a close friend of Lok Sabha member Abdullah, had a long conversation with the five-time chief minister of the erstwhile state, they said. When asked, Dulat denied that any such meeting had taken place. "I have no comments to offer," the Indian spy agency's former chief said, according to PTI.

The government detained Farooq and several leaders, including his son Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti after the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K.

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According to PTI, officials said the meeting took place on 12 February at Abdullah's Gupkar Road residence, which has been converted into a subsidiary jail by the Jammu and Kashmir home department.

'Farooq Was Furious & Refused to Yield Any Ground'

An official familiar with what transpired in the meeting said Abdullah was “furious and refused to yield any ground,” according to HT.

Farooq is angry and hurt at being detained and painted as an anti-national, while he has publicly raised slogan of "Bharat Mata ki Jai," the official said.

The J&K administration has also been persuading Omar Abdullah to sign a bond giving an undertaking that he would not criticise the nullification of Article 370, the official said. However, Omar has reportedly refused to yield to the demands.

The move comes as the BJP is trying to restart political activity in the Union Territory. The outcome of the meeting is however unclear, the senior official told the daily.

“They are trying various options. Letting Dulat meet Farooq was one such experiment," HT reported quoting the senior official.

The leaders will not be locked up under PSA in the long-term, the official added.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times and PTI.)

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