Abdullah was detained for seven months under Public Safety Act
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday revoked the detention order of former chief minister Omar Abdullah under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
The National Conference leader was released around 1:30pm, local time on Tuesday, after more than seven months in detention.
Following the news of his release, Iltija Mufti, daughter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: “Glad he [Omar Abdullah] will be released.” She tweeted from her mother’s Twitter handle. “For all their talk of ‘nari shakti [women power]’ and women emancipation, seems like this regime fears women the most.”
Abdullah, along with Mufti and some other Kashmiri politicians, had been charged under the Public Safety Act since February 6. Under the PSA, a person may be detained without trial for three to six years.
These leaders have been in detention for over six months now since the Centre hollowed out Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 to abrogate the region’s special status, and bifurcated it into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
After he left Hari Niwas, Abdullah demanded the release of Kashmiri politicians including former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who are still in detention.
“Today, I, realise that we are fighting a war of life and death,” he said, according to ANI. “All our people who have been detained should be released at this time.”
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also reacted to Abdullah’s release. “So happy to learn that Omar Abdullah’s unconstitutional and undemocratic detention has been revoked at last,” she tweeted. “It’s about time the Union government restores democratic and constitutional rights to the people of Jammu and Kashmir as well.”
Abdullah’s release order came less than a week after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to clarify on its intention to release him from detention.
The top court had on March 18 said that if the Centre does not release him soon, it will go ahead with hearing his sister’s plea challenging his detention. “If you are releasing him, then release him soon or we will hear the matter on merits,” the bench of Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah had said.