‘Lunatics’ PSA To Be Revoked

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Srinagar: After an outcry from some ruling and opposition legislators over the detention of a ‘lunatic’ under draconian Public Safety Act (PSA), the government informed the lower house that it will revoke the act on Doda youth allegedly responsible for the desecration of a Hindu temple in Jammu on 14 June this month.

Some parts of Jammu city had witnessed violence after a youth whom police identified as Yasir Alfaz of Shiva village of Doda district entered Aap Shambu temple in Janipura area and kicked some idols kept inside the temple. The incident had sparked violent protests in many parts of Jammu, while the protesters set ablaze three vehicles, including two buses of a police school.

The government shortly after his arrest had slapped PSA on the lunatic person. On Thursday, Bhartiya Janata Party legislators protested against the government statement to revoke the PSA on accused. However, after PDP’s Shopian and Kokernag Lawmakers questioned as “how a mad person be booked under PSA”, government said it will revoke it. The duo was supported by Langate Lawmaker Engineer Rasheed who said a lunatic can’t be held in custody.

The posture of two PDP legislators and Engieer Rasheed invited sharp reaction from BJP with lawmaker R.S Pathania quoting sections of law said that, “it was out of purview of government and under law it has no power to revoke the Act.  He added that only Sub-District Magistrate has the power to slap or revoke the Act.

Lawyer turned politician and lawmaker from People’s Conference, Advocate Bashir Ahmed Dar intervened and informed the House that not speaking of Public Safety Act, If any person is declared lunatic, as per law he can be exempted even for 302 (murder). “Grounds of detention are to be explained to a detainee,” he told the Lower House, “So, how can a law implementing authority explain it to a person who is lunatic?” Dar asserted that a lunatic person can’t be detained and the government ought to revoke Public Safety Act without any delay.

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