After the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday ordered the immediate release of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference has welcomed the decision. In a statement released, the party has said that it is a step in the right direction for the restoration of "genuine political processes" in the newly formed Union Territory.
The statement added, "These processes will receive a further fillip when party Vice-President Omar Abdullah and other political detainees are set free. We urge the government to do so at the earliest. As the pre-eminent political party of Jammu and Kashmir, the National Conference has played a key role in strengthening the voice of the people through democracy and will continue to do so."
National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah had been put under detention in August 2019 following the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. His son and former CM Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti continue to be in detention since August 5.
Opposition parties including former PDP minister Altaf Bukhari, who launched a new political party on Sunday, have been demanding the release of Farooq Abdullah and other leaders who are under detention in J-K.
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 defence by the government.