Farooq Abdullah’s detention revoked after seven months
Srinagar, Mar 13: Jammu Kashmir administration Friday decided not to extend the detention of the octogenarian leader of National Conference and the three times Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir under Public Safety Act (PSA) and revoked it henceforth.
He was placed under detention along with other leaders, including his son Omar Abdullah, on August 5 last year- when Government of India annulled the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
He was the first politician from the Kashmir Valley to be booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) that enables the State to detain any person in Jammu and Kashmir for up to two years without a trial or charge, merely on the assumption that they are a threat to law and order and public safety.
Shortly after his PSA was revoked, Farooq Abdullah talked to reporters saying that only after the release of other political leaders; future course of action will be taken. “I can’t believe I am free, hope everyone else will be released,” he said.
Farooq Abdullah added that he really can’t believe that he has been freed. “I can’t tell you more till other leaders are released,” he added.
“Today I don’t have words. I am free today; Now, I will be able to go to Delhi and attend Parliament and speak for you all, Farooq Abdullah said.
The PSA 1978 of Jammu & Kashmir was first slapped against the 82-year-old MP on 17 September, hours before the Supreme Court was to hear a petition by MDMK leader Vaiko who claimed that the National Conference leader was detained illegally. Incidentally, the law was brought in by the MP’s father Sheikh Abdullah, the then prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir, ostensibly stop timber smuggling.
However, the law earned notoriety over the years as it was repeatedly employed against political opponents by consecutive governments until 1990. After the emergence of militancy, the Jammu and Kashmir government frequently invoked the PSA to crack down on separatists.
The 82-year-old Abdullah has a heart pacemaker implanted and had undergone a kidney transplant a few years ago. His Gupkar Road house was declared a sub-jail by the Union Territory’s Home Department.
Pertinently, seven politicians from Kashmir Valley are still facing detention under Public Safety Act. These include Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Shah Faseal, Ali Muhammad Sagar, Nayeem Akhtar, Hilal Akbar Lone and Sartaj Madni.