In a major development amid the Coronavirus crisis, the Jammu & Kashmir Administration has decided to extend the PSA detention of Kashmiri politician - former IAS officer Shah Faesal by three months on Thursday. He was booked under the stringent Public Safety Act on February 15 this year. Faesal who is the chief of Jammu & Kashmir People's Movement (JKPM), was detained at Delhi airport in August last year. He was initially taken to a makeshift detention center at the Centaur Hotel in Srinagar, but was later shifted to his home and was placed house arrest.
On August 12, the J&K administration had issued a Look-Out circular against Faesal, which was challenged by Faesal in the Delhi High Court as 'malafide exercise by the Centre'. Ex-IAS officer Shah Faesal, who shot to limelight after becoming the first Kashmiri to top the civil services exam 2009, resigned from his post earlier in January 2019. Faesal went on to launch his political party 'Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement' at a function in the Rajbagh area of Srinagar, which saw the participation from hundreds of the people in the region.
Almost after seven months of detention, on March 13 this year, the Jammu Kashmir administration released NC chief and former CM of the erstwhile state of J&K Farooq Abdullah. The order said that the government has decided to revoke the PSA imposed on senior Abdullah with immediate effect. In September last year, the government slapped the NC patron with the Public Safety Act and extended it for three more months on December 16. Abdullah and other J&K leaders were placed under preventive detention on August 5 last year ahead of the abrogation of the special status i.e Article 370 of the erstwhile state. Days after Farooq's release, his son and former CM Omar Abdullah was also released on March 24. He was also booked under the Public Safety Act on February 6. Both the leaders in their first statement after their release urged the government to release other leaders.
However, on April 7, the J&K administration shifted former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, to her own residence but said that her detention under PSA will continue. On February 6, the administration had slapped the stringent PSA against Mufti and Omar, reportedly a day before their detention was supposed to end.
As per the PSA provisions, the government can detain a person for up to two years, although, for 'first-time offenders' the length of the detention is limited to six months. However, in the case of "no improvement in the conduct of the detainee," the detention can be extended to its full course of two years. The PSA act was initially promulgated during Sheikh Abdullah, the father of Farooq Abdullah's tenure.