The Jammu and Kashmir administration on February 6 slapped the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) against former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah besides two political stalwarts from the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party. “Yes, my mother received it around 9.30 p.m.,” Ms. Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti told The Hindu .
“As a child, I have memories of my mother going from pillar to post to free boys wrongfully detained by security forces. Today, as I fight for her freedom life has come full circle. We live to fight another day,” Ms. Iltija Mufti said.
A magistrate accompanied by police served the order to Ms. Mehbooba Mufti at the bungalow where she has been detained, officials said. Mr. Abdullah was also booked under the PSA, they said.
The Act was also slapped on NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar and PDP general secretary Sartaj Madni. This comes on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in Parliament, accused the regional leaders of attempts to foment trouble in the run-up to the revocation of Article 370 and 35A on August 5, 2019.
Both Mr. Omar Abdullah and Ms. Mehbooba Mufti were booked under Section 107 along with Section 151 (for apprehension of breaching peace).
Earlier in the day, officials said former Minister Sagar, a close confidant of incarcerated NC patron Farooq Abdullah, along with Mr. Madni, a former Deputy Speaker and uncle of Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, were shifted from the MLA Hostel sub-jail to the M-5 guest house on Gupkar Road, which is also designated as a sub-jail.
Mr. Madni, according to the PSA dossier, was booked for his role during a civilian agitation that followed the double-rape and murder of Asiya and Nelofar in 2009 and for “his role in conceiving the self-rule doctrine”. Mr. Sagar’s dossier underlined his statements made “against the vision of India, Article 370 and Article 35 A” and “his potential to mobilise people.”
Dr. Farooq Abdullah became the first mainstream leader to face the PSA in September 2019. The recently released Peoples Conference chief Sajjad Lone and PDP youth president Waheed Parra were also placed under house arrest.
Officials said the multi-storey MLA Hostel in Srinagar was likely to be vacated of all detained mainstream leaders.
Reacting to the development, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said the BJP-led government at the Centre is “testing the patience” of the people by such “undemocratic moves”.
Jammu and Kashmir unit of the CPI(M) also condemned the slapping of the PSA on the prominent Kashmiri leaders, while the Congress termed the decision as “unfortunate."
(With PTI inputs)