Political leaders in Kashmir, who are under preventive detention since August 5, will be released in a phased manner, said Farooq Khan, advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday.

On being asked if, after Jammu leaders, Kashmiri politicians will be freed from house arrest, Khan said: “Yes, one by one, after analysis of every individual, they will be released”.

Almost all political leaders of Jammu have been freed from house arrest nearly after two months of detention as the Jammu and Kashmir government announced Block Development Council polls.

However, their counterparts in the Kashmir Valley including NCP’s Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah, PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, J&K People’s Conference’s Sajjad Gani Lone still remain under preventive detention.

The Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government has defended the detention of political leaders saying that they were made in accordance with the provisions of law to maintain law and order in the Valley.

Jammu and Kashmir was put under virtual curfew on 5 August when the Modi government scrapped the Article 370 and split the state into two union territories.

Recently, Union minister Jitendra Singh had said that no politician in Jammu and Kashmir will be detained beyond 18 months and asserted that they are not under arrest, but are living as “house guests”.

BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Monday said that “only 200-250 people are under preventive detention in view of the law and order situation in the Valley, adding that they have been kept under preventive detention respectfully, some in five-star guest houses, while some in five-star hotels.

The Jammu and Kashmir state Election Commission on Sunday announced that the Block Development Council (BDC) elections will be held on October 24.

Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islaami Hind (JIH) on Tuesday demanded all the political detainees should be set free to allow them to participate in the electoral exercise slated for October 24.