Farooq Abdullah detained under draconian Public Safety Act

Member of Parliament and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, who has been in house arrest since 5th August after the Centre scrapped the special status of the state, was detained today under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA).

The Act, which was slapped on the National Conference leader, allows the government to detain a person for up to two years without a trial. It was first promulgated during the tenure of Sheikh Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah’s father.

Abdullah’s residence has been declared as a subsidiary jail and he will continue to stay in his house. There is, however, no bar on meeting relatives and friends.

On the 5th of August the Centre scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh.

National Conference MPs were allowed to visit Farooq and his son and former CM Omar but with conditions that they could not interact with media following the meeting.

On Monday, the Supreme Court sought response from the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea seeking to produce Abdullah before court.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer issued notice to the Centre and the state, and fixed Rajya Sabha MP and MDMK leader Vaiko’s plea for hearing on September 30.

Vaiko said Abdullah has been kept under “illegal detention without any authority of law” in violation of his constitutional rights. “The actions of the respondents (government) are completely illegal and arbitrary and violative of the right to protection of life and personal liberty, right to protection from arrest and detention and also against right to free speech and expression which is the cornerstone of a democratic nation,” the plea filed by advocate G Ananda Selvam on Vaiko’s behalf read.

The centre objected to the plea, saying Vaiko is not Abdullah’s relative and his request for the release of the Jammu and Kashmir leader was “abuse of the process of law”.

On August 6, when Nationalist Congress Party leader Supriya Sule pointed out to Abdullah’s absence in parliament, Home Minister Amit Shah had said, “He has neither been detained nor arrested. He is at home by his own will.”

Some 400 politicians including Abdullah and another former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti are under arrest since the scrapping of special status last month.

Source : Various