Omar Abdullah, in detention since August 5 last year, to be released
After he completed six months in custody, the state administration ordered Omar Abdullah’s continued detention in February under the Public Safety Act (PSA) that empowers authorities to hold any person for two more years.Updated: Mar 24, 2020 12:06 IST
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, who was detained last August ahead of the Centre’s move to scrap withdraw erstwhile state’s special status, will be released. A Jammu and Kashmir administration spokesman said on Tuesday that orders to release Omar Abdullah, who has been confined to a government accommodation, was issued.
Omar Abdullah, who turned 50 this month, has been in detention for a little over seven months.
The government ordered his release on Tuesday, days after his father Farooq Abdullah was freed. A third former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party, is still in detention.
The National Conference leader was detained on August 4 midnight before the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and divided the state into two union territories.
On August 5, the Centre nullified Article 370, divided the state into two Union Territories and imposed restrictions in the Kashmir valley. He was initially detained under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that empowers an executive magistrate to order a person to execute bonds “for keeping the peace”. Just before his detention was to expire in February 2020, the government invoked the Public Safety Act to hold him. This law empowers authorities to hold any person for two more years.
Omar Abdullah’s sister, Sara Abdullah Pilot, had approached the Supreme Court soon after, arguing that his detention was “unconstitutional”. A two-judge bench of the top court, which had asked the government in February to explain Omar Abdullah’s detention, last week cautioned the government that it would take up the petition on merits on the next date of hearing if the state did not release him.