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Freedom, conditions apply: Detained J&K leaders can’t comment or hold rallies on Art 370 for a year, says bond

A new document has come to light that purportedly shows that political detainees in Jammu and Kashmir will now have to sign a bond that forces them to give up the right to hold public speeches concerning ‘recent events’ in the state, i.e. the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent shutdown.

Hundreds of political leaders have been detained in the state since August 5, when the Centre announced the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

In the past few weeks, some detained leaders have been freed but the released leaders have had to sign a bond that forbids them from making any comments, issuing statements, giving public speeches or participating in any public event “related to the recent events in the state of Jammu and Kashmir” for one year.

The bond the detenues have been asked to sign.

The bond states that any public statements by leaders have the “potential to endanger the peace and tranquillity and law and order in the state”.

The duration of these supposed self-restrictions will be for one year.

The bond is not a standard document. It is reportedly a modified version of the standard document that a person “likely to commit a breach of peace” has to sign according to Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

In addition to not making any public statements on the situation in the Valley for one year, the detained political leaders will also have to deposit a sum Rs 10,000 as “surety” and an additional Rs 40,000 in case any conditions of the bond are violated.

Last week, women protestors, including National Conference President Farooq Abdullah’s sister and daughter, were arrested after they took out a protest march. They were later released on bail by a court in Srinagar.

Abdullah’s sister Suraiya, his daughter Safiya and 11 other women furnished a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and surety of Rs 40,000 each under section 107 of criminal procedure code, giving an assurance that they would maintain peace.

Post August 5, when the Centre abrogated special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir, the state authorities have detained scores of political leaders including three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah.

The senior Abdullah was subsequently booked under the stringent Public Safety Act last month.


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