After Jammu and Kashmir government initiated a process to release 173 detained local leaders of the state in phases, the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Thursday urged Governor Satya Pal Malik to allow a delegation of senior party leaders from Jammu to meet party president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah, who are currently under detention in Srinagar. The party will chalk out its future course of action after meeting the top leadership, a party spokesman said.

At a meeting convened by senior leaders based in Jammu at the Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan, the party also took a detailed review of the political situation in the state, he said.

In a resolution unanimously adopted at the meeting, the National Conference leaders pledged to strengthen bonds of communal harmony, unity, togetherness and inclusive democratic polity, a long-cherished agenda set for the state by Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the spokesman said.

“It also pledged to strive for strengthening the bonds of unity so that the pristine glory of Jammu and Kashmir is restored. The meeting placed on record the role played by the National Conference during most testing times in maintaining and sustaining democratic and secular ethos of the state and pledged to work to safeguard the interests of the people of the state so that they are not deprived of rights and privileges,” he said.

While reiterating that dissent was the core of democracy, NC leaders expressed concern over the situation in the state. It sought immediate release of all the political leaders, withdrawal of restrictions on free movement and expression, and ensuring liberty by restoring democracy, the spokesman said.

The party leaders expressed disappointment over continued detention of senior leaders, including Farooq Abdullah who is detained under Public Safety Act, and Omar Abdullah, as also the other top leaders of the mainstream political parties, he added.

Since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 many citizens including 144 children as young as 9, and local leaders have been detained under “preventative detention.”