In a major development, yet another Kashmiri politician - former IAS officer Shah Faesal on Saturday, has been booked under the stringent Public Safety Act. Faesal who is the chief of Jammu & Kashmir People's Movement (JKPM), was detained at Delhi airport and put under house arrest in August. While he was initially taken to a makeshift detention center at the Centaur Hotel in Srinagar, later he was to taken his home and placed under 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.
Earlier on February 6, the J&K administration slapped the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) against Mehbooba Mufti and former CM Omar Abdullah, reportedly a day before their detention was supposed to end. Previously on December 14, Omar's father Farooq Abdullah's detention was extended by another three months by the Jammu-Kashmir administration after initially being charged on August 5. On Friday, the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the administration on a plea by Abdullah's sister - Sara Pilot challenging Omar's detention.
As per the PSA provisions, the government could 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.
While several minor politicians have been released in a phased manner by the administration, political leaders Ali Mohammed Sagar, Naeem Akhtar, Sartaj Madani, and Hilal Lone have been charged under the PSA along with Omar, Mufti and Abdullah. Meanwhile, former PDP minister Altaf Bukhari-led 'new political front' comprising of senior political leaders, academics, legal luminaries, activists is set to meet PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to demand the restoration of statehood and domicile rights. The state is still under lockdown with only 2G internet services available.