Omar Abdullah’s sister  moves Supreme Court against brothers ‘Unconstitutional’ detention

The sister of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah moved the Supreme Court on Monday against his fresh detention order under the Public Safety Act.

Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal told the bench that they have filed a habeas corpus petition challenging the detention of Omar and the matter should be heard this week and the SC has agreed to consider the request. Omar’s sister called the order “unconstitutional and a fragrant violation of fundamental right”.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has cited the National Conference leader’s ability to “convince his electorate to vote in huge numbers” as one of the reasons for invoking the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) against the former chief minister.

“The capacity of the subject to influence people for any cause can be gauged from the fact that he was able to convince his electorate to come out and vote in huge numbers even during the peak of militancy and poll boycotts,” a dossier prepared by the police said.

Three Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers — National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti — have been in detention since August 5 last year when the Narendra Modi government scrapped provisions of Article 370 and bifurcated the state into J&K and Ladakh union territories.

While Farooq Abdullah, a five-time chief minister and currently a member of the Lok Sabha, was booked under PSA last September, Omar and Mehbooba were booked under the stringent law on the night of February 6 this year, barely a few hours before their preventive detention was to end.

The grounds of detention against Omar Abdullah, who was J&K chief minister from 2009-14, state that on the eve of re-organisation of the state he had made attempts to provoke general masses against the dilution of articles 370 and 35-A.

The grounds also mention his comments on social networking sites to instigate common people against the decisions on Articles 370 and 35-A which had the potential of disturbing public order.

However, the police have neither mentioned any of Omar’s social media posts in the dossier nor in the order for grounds of his detention.

“To the people of Kashmir, we don’t know what is in store for us…….stay safe and above all please stay calm,” were the last few tweets of Omar before he was taken to Hari Nivas for preventive detention.

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