After 6 months of detention, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti booked under the Public Security Law | India News
The measure came amid strong opposition demands for the release of the former CM. Highly located sources said the deputy commissioner and district magistrate of Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary, signed police records on Omar and Mehbooba as part of the procedure to detain them for another three months under the PSA. In August, the same law was invoked to put Omar’s father, Farooq Abdullah, also a former CM, under house arrest at his private residence on Gupkar Road.
The decision to arrest Omar and Mehbooba under the PSA “to prevent the violation of peace” was made at a meeting between the police chief and the chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam. It means that the three old J&K CMs are now being held under PSA.
Both Omar and Mehbooba have been detained since August 5, when the Center presented a bill in Parliament to annul articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution and revoke the special status of J&K. In subsequent months, several foreign governments have urged the Center to release all political prisoners.
Omar and Mehbooba had previously been arrested under Section 107 of the CrPC. After completing the six-month detention, continuing to retain them under the same law would have become unsustainable, although they could have been arrested again after going through the motions to “release them.”
Instead, the authorities decided to invoke the PSA. Earlier in the day, Sagar and Madani, who is Mehbooba’s maternal uncle, were transferred from the MLA hostel here to a guest house that became a subcarcel. The arrest of Madani under the PSA was approved by the Kulgam district magistrate on the basis of a police file stating that “he played a vital role in the mobilization of antisocial elements in the Valley” after the murder and rape of Asiya and Neelofar in 2009. Case in Shopian.
The file also accuses him of “provoking people to take to the streets and actively support the separatists and propagate the secession of J&K from the Union of India, especially after the execution of Afzal Guru.” In the case of Sagar, the file presented by the police to the district magistrate of Srinagar states that “he was very expressive” against the annulment of articles 370 and 35A and had “instigated” the people to protest against him.
“His ability to alter public order can be measured by the fact that he managed to mobilize voters at the peak of militancy for boycotts in polls,” the dossier reads. Bashir Ahmad Veeri, another North Carolina leader and former MLC detained for more than six months, was transferred Thursday from the MLA shelter to his official residence in Jawahar Nagar de Srinagar and placed under house arrest.
In the last 24 hours, he is the third political official who goes from preventive detention to house arrest.