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15-Member NC Delegation Meeting Detained Farooq, Omar on Sunday

For the first time after the abrogation of Article 370, a delegation of the NC leaders is meeting the Abdullahs. 

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Politics
3 min read
National Conference President Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah.
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For the first time after the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and the detention of mainstream political leaders on 5 August, a 15-member delegation of the National Conference (NC) leaders from Jammu is meeting with the party’s President Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah in Srinagar on Sunday, 6 October.

Authoritative sources said that the Special Security Group (SSG), protecting former chief ministers and their families, was directed late on Saturday evening to facilitate the NC delegation’s meeting with Omar at 11:15 am and thereafter with Farooq at 11:45 am.

Sources said that two separate meetings were being arranged on the direction of Governor Satya Pal Malik and each would not last more than 30 minutes.

“We have been directed to put in place all necessary arrangements to facilitate the two meetings. We are very much ready,” said a senior official in SSG of the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

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While as the NC patriarch, three-time Chief Minister and the octogenarian Lok Sabha member from Srinagar Farooq has been detained under Public Safety Act (PSA) at his own residence on Gupkar Road, his son and former Chief Minister Omar has been lodged at Hari Niwas Palace on the same street.

Hari Niwas Palace had been magnificently renovated by then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2007 as the official residence of J&K’s CM.

However, considered to be inauspicious in the local political and bureaucratic circles, none of the CMs have stayed in it in the last 12 years.

Omar happens to be the only political detainee at Hari Niwas after the former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was shifted to a hut at Cheshma Shahi within days of her lodgement at the palace.

Devinder Singh Rana, brother of the BJP leader and Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitender Singh, NC’s Jammu Province Chief, who was also Political Advisor to then Chief Minister Omar in 2009-2014, is heading the 15-member party delegation.

Rana told The Quint over telephone that he and his delegation will be arriving in Srinagar by a forenoon flight from Jammu on Sunday.

“We have been asked to meet Omar Sahab at 11:15 am and Farooq Sahib at 11:45 am. We are thankful to Governor Malik that he responded to my letter positively and arranged for our meeting with the party top brass.”
Devinder Singh Rana, NC’s Jammu Province Chief

Rana revealed that after he and some other politicians were allowed to resume their movement and political activities after being under ‘house arrest’ for 55 days, he wrote a letter to Governor Malik seeking meetings of the NC delegation with the two former chief ministers.

“The Raj Bhawan today (Saturday) asked for the names of the leaders who wanted to call on Farooq Sahab and Omar Sahab. I responded immediately and sent them a list of 15 names. In the afternoon today, it was communicated to me that all the names had been cleared and we could meet our top brass in Srinagar tomorrow (Sunday).”
Devinder Singh Rana, NC’s Jammu Province Chief

Rana said, “We are now scheduled to meet Farooq Sahab and Omar Sahab tomorrow. Most of us will be returning to Jammu by an afternoon flight.”

Senior NC leaders and former ministers Ajay Sadhotra, Surjit Singh Salathia, Sajad Ahmad Kichloo, Mushtaq Bukhari, former MLC and Chief Secretary Vijay Bakaya, besides Rattan Lal Gupta, Rachhpal Singh, Trilochan Singh Wazir, Javed Rana, Aijaz Jan, Kashmira Singh, Chaman Lal Bhagat and Brij Mohan Sharma are among the leaders in Rana’s delegation.

Even as Lok Sabha members Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi have met the detained NC top brass a couple of times over a court order, this is the first time that a big delegation of the party leaders – albeit all from Jammu – would be calling on Farooq and Omar after their detention on 5 August.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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