Farooq Abdullah to be released after 7 months of detention
Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah will be released from detention after months of custody under the Public Safety Act or PSA, officials said on Friday.
Farooq Abdullah was first placed under detention with several leaders, including his son Omar Abdullah and the PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, on August 5, when the government scrapped the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and imposed massive security restrictions and a communication lockdown.
“In exercise of powers conferred under Section 19(1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978, the government hereby revokes the detention order bearing No. DMS/PSA/120/2019 issued by District Magistrate, Srinagar,” the order issued by Shaleen Kabra, J-K’s principal secretary for home, said.
Farooq Abdullah is under detention at his Gupkar House, which has been declared as a sub-jail.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration revoked the order against Farooq Abdullah under PSA days after eight opposition leaders had demanded the release of all political detainees in the Union territory.
These leaders had called for the release of Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti in a joint statement on Monday, saying their indefinite detention by the government was a “blatant violation” of fundamental rights.
“Under these circumstances, political parties committed to safeguarding the fundamental rights of the citizens and securing the sanctity of the Constitution, cannot sit quiet,” the statement issued by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar said.
“It is our bounden duty to demand the immediate release of the three former Chief Ministers of J&K and all the other political detainees,” read the statement, which was posted by Pawar on his Twitter handle on Monday.
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee, former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Deve Gowda, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India general secretary D Raja and Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Rajya Sabha member Manoj Kumar Jha had also signed the letter.
“Nothing exemplifies this more starkly than the continuing detention, on flimsiest of grounds, of three former Chief Ministers of Jammu & Kashmir — Dr Farooq Abdullah, Shri Omar Abdullah and Smt Mehbooba Mufti — for over seven months,” the statement had said.
The National Conference had recently said that the continuous detention of Farooq Abdullah was a clear signal of the Centre’s contempt for Kashmiri representation.
“The central government has created a dangerous vacuum reversing all the gains of the past two decades by denigrating mainstream politics in Kashmir,” senior NC leader and Member of Parliament from north Kashmir Mohammad Akbar Lone had said last week.
Lone said it was “disrespectful” to have a sitting MP, whom former Prime Minister late A B Vajpayee had referred to as “the third party to Kashmir”, in confinement.
Former PDP minister Altaf Bukhari, who launched a new political party on Sunday, had also demanded the release of Farooq Abdullah and other leaders who are under detention in J-K.
Lok Sabha member and three-time former chief minister Farooq Abdullah was detained on August 5, 2019, was held under PSA in September and his statements were described as a threat to peace.
Farooq Abdullah’s detention order under PSA had come right ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on a habeas corpus petition filed by Tamil Nadu politician Vaiko that sought the former CM’s production in the top court.
Farooq Abdullah release orders came days after opposition leaders had demanded the release of all political detainees in the Union territory
Lok Sabha member and the three-time former chief minister was detained on August 5, 2019, was held under PSA in September
He is under detention at his Gupkar House, which has been declared as a sub-jail.