SRINAGAR – Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, both former Chief Ministers of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state on Thursday were booked under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA).
Ministry of Home Affairs slapped PSA on two former chief ministers of the erstwhile state; New Delhi based India Today reported on Thursday.
National Conference (NC) Patron Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti were detained on August 5 last year, hours before the Centre revoked the special status of J&K and bifurcated it into two Union Territories, carving out Ladakh as a separate UT.
The Public Safety Act (PSA) is an administrative detention law that allows detention of any individual for up to two years without a trial or charge. The Act that allows for the arrest and detention of people without a warrant, specific charges, and often for an unspecified period of time has been in vogue in Kashmir since 1978.
Ironically, PSA was introduced by Omar’s grandfather and the then Chief Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 to book timber smugglers but later on it was rampantly used against political opponents and activists seeking Kashmir settlement. Amnesty International has termed it a “lawless law”.
On September 17, Farooq Abdullah became the first Chief Minister of the state to be booked under the PSA. Abdullah, 81, was charged with disturbing public order.
Quoting sources, another report by India Today said that the government will also extend the detention of former IAS officer Shah Faesal.
Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Shah Faesal were in preventive custody under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
“Most political leaders were released after signing a bond not to indulge in political activity, but at least 10 continue to be held,” sources added.
Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have not been moved to their own homes, but continue to be held in government accommodation. But a top source in the Jammu and Kashmir government said they would be shifted to their homes before the weekend, the report added.
The removal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was met with angry protests by the Opposition — P Chidambaram called it a “grave mistake” — but the government, on the other hand, contended that it had corrected a “historic blunder”.
Sagar, Madani Too Booked Under PSA
The Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory administration on Thursday slapped controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) against the National Conference General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar and senior PDP leader Sartaj Madani, hours after shifting them from fortified MLA hostel here.
Earlier, the officials had said that three politicians had been booked under the PSA, but later clarified that only two were handed over the PSA warrant.
National Conference general secretary and former minister Ali Mohammed Sagar, who wields a support base in downtown city, was served with a PSA notice public order by the authorities.
Similarly, senior PDP leader Sartaj Madani was booked under the PSA. Madani is the maternal uncle of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Both Sagar and Madani were detained in the aftermath of August 5 crackdown by the Centre on politicians following abrogation of special status of the erstwhile state, besides its bifurcation into two union territories.
Their six-month preventive custody was ending on Thursday.
Earlier, the officials had said that former NC legislator Bashir Ahmed Veeri was also booked under the PSA but later it turned out that he had been released.