‘Ridiculous material’: Omar Abdullah’s sister challenges his detention in SC

Updated on Feb 10, 2020 07:23 PM IST

Omar Abdullah has been under detention sinch August 5, 2019, when Centre abrogated Article 370.

Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, addresses a press conference on August 3, 2019 at his residence in Srinagar.(Waseem Andrabi/HT Photo)
Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, addresses a press conference on August 3, 2019 at his residence in Srinagar.(Waseem Andrabi/HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

The sister of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has moved Supreme Court challenging his detention under Public Safety Act (PSA).

The habeas corpus petition filed by Sara Abdullah Pilot demands the physical presence of Omar and quashing his detention. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioner, mentioned the matter for urgent listing to ehich the bench headed by Justice N V Ramana agreed.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration had extended Omar Abdullah’s detention citing the ability of former chief minister and National Conference (NC) leader to “garner votes even during the peak of militancy and poll boycotts”. He has been under detention since August 5, 2019, when the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution and converted Jammu and Kashmir into a union territory.

The dossier by Jammu and Kashmir administration said Abdullah harboured “radical thoughts”.

Sara Abdullah said in her petition that the dossier “contains patently false and ridiculous material, essentially accusing the detenu of becoming a popular figure among general masses and possessing considerable influence over people.”

“The detenu is accused of convincing people to participate in elections in huge numbers and exercise their democratic right to vote despite threats from militants,” she said.

Omar Abdullah, 49, was on Thursday booked under the PSA, which allows the administration to detain him without trial for two years.

The file on Abdullah, chief minister from 2009 to 2014, is reported to have said that his activities suggested that the “ideology of the subject is favouring radical thoughts which he has also turned into actions”.

“The subject is a popular figure among masses and has tremendous potential for diverting energy of common people for any cause,” it said.

It cited Abdullah’s opposition to the Centre’s move on Article 370 and alleged instigation of people on Twitter to undermine the unity and integrity of India. Interestingly. in the last few tweets on August 4, Abdullah asked the people of Kashmir to maintain calm. The same tweets have been cited by his sister in her petition.

National Conference spokesman Imran Nabi Dar termed the charges shocking. “It is shocking what they are saying and ironic as well that he has been charged for asking people to come out for vote,” he said.

Abdullah, besides having been chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, is also a former minister of state for external affairs.

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