Farooq Abdullah's detention has been extended by another three months by the Jammu and Kashmir administration. The National Conference (NC) patron has been detained in his residence since August 05 under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA), after the BJP-led government revoked the special status from the state by scrapping Article 370.
The three-term Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Srinagar MP will be confined in his Srinagar residence, which is now declared as a sub-jail. Under the Public Safety Act, an individual can be detained for up to two years, without a trial. Incidentally, the act was introduced by Farooq Abdullah's father, Sheikh Abdullah in 1978.
His house, located at Gupkar Road, has been declared a sub-jail by the union territory's Home Department. The 82-year-old Abdullah, who became the first chief minister against whom the stringent public safety law was invoked, has a heart pacemaker implanted and had undergone a kidney transplant a few years ago. The PSA has two sections -- 'public order' and 'threat to the security of the state'. The former allows detention without trial for three to one year and the latter for two years.
Despite being detained under the Public Safety Act, oddly, the 81-year-old mainstream politician was recently included in a 21-member consultative committee on defense by the government. Abdullah, in a letter, had condemned the government for disallowing him to attend the winter session of the Parliament, wherein significant Bills were passed. "It is most unfortunate that they are not able to deliver me my post in time. I am sure this is not the way to treat a senior Member of the Parliament and leader of a political party. We are not criminals," the National Conference chief said.
The Opposition has been raising the prolonged detention of mainstream Kashmiri politicians in the Parliament. Home Minister Amit Shah in the Parliament claimed that it is the local administration that will decide the release of the detained politicians. In response to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan's query, Amit Shah in Lok Sabha said, "There is no need to keep anyone (leaders) in jail even for a day more than that is required. As and when the local administration feels the time is appropriate, they will be released," Amit Shah said. "There will be no interference from our side." Amit Shah, taking a dig at the Congress, accused the party of confining Farooq Abdullah's father Sheikh Abdullah in jail for 11 years.
Prominent mainstream leaders, including PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, NC vice president Omar Abdullah, JKPC president Sajad Lone, and others have been detained in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5. Farooq Abdullah was reportedly moved out of Srinagar. Earlier, Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was shifted to a government accommodation in the city from a tourist hut located at the foothills of the Zaberwan range, officials said.
The move is necessitated because of approaching winters. Initially, she was kept with Omar Abdullah at Hari Nivas but was later shifted to Chesma Shahi and lodged in a tourist hut. Both, Omar Abdullah and Mufti have been detained under section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
(With PTI inputs)