CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to release former Chief Ministers and other political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir and restore the democratic process there.

In a letter, Yechury said it was now six months since the severe restrictions were clamped in the former State following the abrupt abrogation of Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution through a resolution in Parliament.

“Thousands have been detained from the night of the 4th-5th of August 2019. Many of them are lodged in jails in J&K and outside, detained in their residences under virtual house arrest or in other different locations,” Yechury wrote.

These included such people who had served as Union Cabinet Ministers in the past, people like Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Omar Abdullah, all of them former Chief Ministers, and Mohd Yusuf Tarigami, a four-time elected MLA to the now-defunct assembly of the former State.

“I am writing to you to demand that the detained persons be released and granted their liberty and freedoms as guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. The communications clampdown must be lifted and the democratic processes restored immediately. These have severely impacted the economy of the region imposing unprecedented misery on the people,” Yechury wrote.

He said the assurances made to the people at the time of the accession of the State to the Indian Union must be honoured. “I hope you will consider the matter with all the seriousness that it warrants,” the CPI (M) leader wrote.