01:54 GMT04 April 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Around 500 Kashmiri leaders were detained after India stripped the state of its special status in August. Among those detained were former state leaders Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti.

    The Indian government released former Jammu and Kashmir chief Omar Abdullah after eight months of detention on Tuesday. Rohit Kansal, the principal secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, confirmed the decision in a tweet.

    ​On 13 March, the government had released Omar Abdullah’s father and also former state chief Farooq Abdullah. This is the second big release from among the Kashmiri leadership while another former J&K chief Mehbooba Mufti remains under detention.

    After his release, Omar tweeted that it's a different world now. 

    The leaders were jailed under the Public Safety Act, under which the government can detain a person for up to two years without trial. 

    In December 2019, the government released five Kashmiri politicians — Ghulam Nabi Bhat and Ishfaq Jabbar of the National Conference (NC), Zahoor Mir, Yashir Reshi of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP), and Bashir Mir of the Congress Party.

    The leaders were detained in order to contain the backlash following the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, which withdrew the special status of the state. Following the abrogation, the state was bifurcated into two federally administered territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

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    Omar Abdullah, special status, Jammu and Kashmir, India
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