NEW DELHI: Two days after taking charge as the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed instructed the state police to initiate the process of releasing political prisoners against whom no criminal charges are registered.

Mufti, while asking the state police to mend the “behavioral changes” said that the release of political prisoners would send a positive message across the political spectrum of the state.”

“Dissent in democracy makes the system vibrant and dynamic and we should always try to evolve such a system. Democracy is a battle of ideas and it should not be held hostage to the agreements or disagreements on issues” Chief Minister said while holding a detailed review with Director General of Police, K Rajendra and other senior police officials.

According to analysts, Mufti’s step would provide relief to all those youths from the Valley who have been arrested during the protests and are still languishing in jails without any trial.

Urging the state police to become a part of the change with the arrival of a new government, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed directed the police to go beyond providing security and become a source of “reassurance for the general public”.

“The role of the police goes beyond providing security. The presence of police at different levels should be a source of reassurance to public rather than a cause of fear,” Mufti said.

He also urged the police to present a soft humane face to the people and a helping hand to the needy.

“Police have played a significant role in the conduct of recent Assembly elections which have further strengthened the democratic institutions and procedures in the State”, he said.

He further added that similar spirit has to be displayed by the police in day to day matters dealt by them.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also observed that the delays in issuing passports and providing clearances for travel have been a constant source of dismay and irritation for common people and directed the Police authorities to make the Police verification process time bound and transparent.

He asked the police authorities to evolve a practicable mechanism by which more and more such cases are decided in quick time frames and the minor procedural wrangles are done away with.

He also urged state police to encourage a people friendly approach within its ranks and make the organization more accountable and transparent with a greater degree of integrity.