Farooq Abdullah was the first chief minister against whom the PSA was invoked. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s detention was revoked by the UT government on Friday. Under detention for last eight months, Abdullah will be released soon. He was detained under stringent Public Safety Act. Abdullah was kept at his Gupkar house since August 5 – the day Narendra Modi government abrogated Article 370 that gave special powers to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Along with him, his son national Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were also detained. Abdullah junior was detained at Hari Niwas. Mehbooba, who was initially lodged at Chesmashahi huts, was shifted to a government building in the heart of Srinagar. The senior Abdullah was slapped with the stringent Public Safety Act on September 17, which was further renewed for a period of three months on December 16. In an order, state Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra said the PSA invoked on Abdullah on September 17 and further extended on December 13, has been revoked. The order comes into force with immediate effect.
National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah's release from detention will be a right step for the restoration of a genuine political process in Jammu and Kashmir, the party said in a statement on Friday. The NC said the process will receive a further fillip when party vice-president Omar Abdullah and other political detainees are set free. "We urge the government to do so at the earliest," it said. "As the pre-eminent political party of Jammu and Kashmir, the National Conference has played a key role in strengthening the voice of the people through democracy and will continue to do so," the statement said.
Abdullah was under preventive detention since August 5 last year, the day the Centre abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. He was the first chief minister against whom the PSA was invoked. The stringent Act was slapped against him on September 15, hours before the Supreme Court was to hear a petition by MDMK leader Vaiko who claimed that Abdullah had been illegally detained.
He was booked under 'public order' of the PSA, a provision that allows authorities to detain a person for three months without trial. This can be extended up to two years. The decision to release the National Conference patron came hours ahead of the ending of the three-month period on Friday midnight.
Farooq Abdullah's son Omar as well as former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti were slapped with the PSA on February 6, the day on which their six-month term of preventive detention was to end.
(With agency inputs)