The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday released five more political leaders detained since August 5, the day when the Centre announced the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories.

The number of leaders under detention stands at 21 now.

On January 3, two PDP leaders — Ashraf Mir and Rafiq Mir — who were under detention since August 5 last year, were released and police guard at their houses were lifted.

Ashraf was shifted from the MLA hostel in the last week of November but continued to remain under preventive detention at his house.

Rafiq Mir was detained at his residence post the August 5 decision. He was among dozens of political detainees who were kept at Centaur hotel.

On December 30, last year, five politicians belonging to the National Conference, the PDP and the Congress, who were kept under preventive detention, were released after authorities were satisfied that they would not be indulging in any agitation or give call for any strike after they are set free.

The leaders included Ishfaq Jabbar and Ghulam Nabi Bhat (NC), Bashir Mir (Congress) and Zahoor Mir and Yasir Reshi (PDP).

Among them, Reshi is considered as a rebel PDP leader who had openly revolted against then Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP patron Mehbooba Mufti.

In November last year, two political leaders — Dilawar Mir of the PDP and Ghulam Hassan Mir of the Democratic Party Nationalist — were released by the new Union Territory administration.

Several political leaders were picked up from their residences on August 5, the day the Centre had withdrawn the special status given to J-K under Article 370 of the Constitution and divided the state into two Union Territories — Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

The two Union Territories came into existence on October 31 last year.

A total of 35 mainstream politicians were moved from the Centaur Hotel on the banks of the Dal Lake to the MLA Hostel on November 18 as Srinagar reeled under harsh winter and the hotel lacked proper heating arrangement.

Meanwhile, three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — continue to remain under detention.

While senior Abdullah was slapped with the stringent Public Safety Act on September 17 and remains confined to his residence, Omar Abdullah and Mufti are under detention at different locations in the city.

The PSA on Farooq Abdullah was reviewed by authorities on December 15 and it was agreed that he would continue to remain in detention for another 90 days.