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Mehbooba Mufti, In Detention Since August, Shifts Over Winter



Mehbooba Mufti is reported to have complained about the cold weather.

New Delhi:

Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who was detained the night before the removal of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, was moved today from the Chashme Shahi resort in Srinagar to more suitable government accommodation given the fall in mercury levels.

"Mehbooba has been moved to a house with proper heating facilities. He has complained about the cold conditions lately," a senior official told NDTV.

However, the leader of the Omar Abdullah National Conference – which is under "caution" confinement will also remain on Niwas Day because he is happy with the arrangement. "Omar's family has met him, and they are also satisfied," the official said.

His 83-year-old father, party leader Farooq Abdullah, will also continue to be held in his residence for the rest of the season.

Kashmir receives snowfall earlier than usual this year, and the weather department forecasts very cold winters. The harshest period of the season – known as Chillai Kalan – lasted 40 days from 21 December to 31 January. The weather remained cold and dry during this time, with frequent snow and minimum temperatures falling below freezing.

Union Interior Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has confirmed the crackdown on Jammu and Kashmir before a committee standing in parliament today, calling it a "necessary step" to anticipate violence in the region. He also claimed that political leaders such as Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were placed under confinement in view of incendiary statements made against the Union government in the past.

Bhalla went on to say that although all detained political leaders would eventually be released, the government could not provide a time frame because it was still assessing the "basic situation". Farooq Abdullah can appeal his detention under the Public Security Act before the high court, he added.

According to the official, the state administration has also received complaints regarding the unavailability of non-vegetarian food from other political leaders who were detained at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Center in Srinagar. "We will probably move them to the MLA hostel in the near future," he said.

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