In a huge development, seven months after the abrogation of Article 370, the government has decided to revoke the detention order of National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah. Abdullah and other J&K leaders were placed under preventive detention on August 5 last year ahead of the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state. On the following September, the government slapped the NC patron with the Public Safety Act and extended it for three more months on December 16.
Rohit Kansal, the principal secretary of Planning, Development and Monitoring Department of Jammu Kashmir, posted a letter on Twitter on Friday, stating the government order. The order said that the government has decided to revoke the PSA imposed on senior Abdullah with immediate effect.
Govt issues orders revoking detention of Dr Farooq Abdullah pic.twitter.com/tcBzkwY7dI— Rohit Kansal (@kansalrohit69) March 13, 2020
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. 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.
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. 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.
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 Abdullah and Mufti. 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. Since the revocation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the State into two Union Territories, the state is under lockdown. Though markets and road transport has been improving, locals are still being targetted by terrorists. The Centre has stated that train services, hospitals and other services have resumed normally.