The J&K administration on October 13 revoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) and detention of former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti, who has been under arrest for over 14 months since the Centre abrogated J&K’s special status on August 5, 2019 .
“In exercise of powers conferred under Section 19(1) of the J&K Public Safety Act (PSA), the government revokes the detention order dated February 5 and extended for a period of three months on July 31, 2020 against Ms. Mufti,” an order issued by Shaleen Kabra, principal secretary, Home, said.
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Ms. Mufti was lodged in two separate sub-jails in Srinagar before she was shifted to her official residence , which was converted into a sub-jail.
Immediately after her release, a PDP spokesman said Ms. Mufti would address a press conference in Srinagar on October 16. Ms. Mufti has not issued any statement since her arrest in 2019. The former Chief Minister was the last of the senior leaders under detention in Kashmir.
Iltija Mufti, daughter of Ms. Mufti who has been handling the official Twitter account of her mother since her detention, said, “As Ms. Mufti’s illegal detention finally comes to an end, I'd like to thank everybody who supported me in these tough times. I owe a debt of gratitude to you all. This is Iltija signing off.”
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Earlier, in March this year, National Conference (NC) president Dr. Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah were released.
”I’m pleased to hear that Ms. Mufti has been released after more than a year in detention. Her continued detention was a travesty and was against the basic tenets of democracy. Welcome out Mehbooba,” Mr. Omar Abdullah tweeted .
Ms. Mufti is among the top regional leaders of J&K who advocates a joint struggle for restoration of J&K’s special status under the Gupkar Declaration, which is supported by seven regional parties, including the NC, the Peoples Conference and the Congress.
Sources said Ms. Mufti has been in touch with Dr. Abdullah in the last three months to carry forward the agenda of the Gupkar Declaration . Her release may finally formalise the regional grouping under the Gupkar Declaration. Sources said all the parties, which are part the Gupkar Declaration, were planning to give it a formal shape once Ms. Mufti is released.