The Central government has initiated background talks for the release of political leaders who have been under house arrest in Jammu and Kashmir for over two months since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, sources said on Saturday. The leaders have been approached by officials and are being asked to cooperate in maintaining law and order in the Union Territory.

Earlier this week, three politicians – Yawar Mir, Noor Mohammed and Shoiab Lone – were released on various grounds. After the Centre decided to revoke the special constitutional status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, the region was placed under a communication blockade and several mainstream political leaders, including National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, vice president Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti were put under house arrest as a precautionary measure to ensure peace in the Union Territory, and maintain law and order.

The Centre, however, said that those leaders who are under house arrest will be released soon. The abrogation of Article 370 ended the special status given to J&K and the former state was split into two Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

J&K administration had a few days ago released leaders like Devender Singh Rana (National Conference), Harshdev Singh (Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party), Raman Bhalla (Congress), among others days after the schedule for Block Development Council (BDC) election was announced.