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PDP’s Akhtar booked under PSA in Valley

Senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar./File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

Senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former Minister Naeem Akhtar, 68, was booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) on Saturday, and became the sixth mainstream leader to be booked under it.

An official said Mr. Akhtar, considered a close confidante of party president Mehbooba Mufti, was shifted from the MLA Hostel sub-jail to M-5 government accommodation here on Saturday morning after the PSA notice was served on him.

Mr. Akhtar was a government spokesman of the PDP-BJP alliance in 2015-18 and faced several attacks, including petrol bombs attack on his house, for the party decision to ally with the ideologically opposite party BJP.

Detained on August 5, 2019 during the clampdown against the mainstream leaders in the wake of the revocation of J&K’s special status, the extension of detention of Mr. Akhtar under the PSA would mean he could be held behind the bars without a trial up to two years and his release depends on the charges levelled against him.

The development comes just two days after four mainstream leaders including two former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah also faced the PSA.

However, two NC leaders, ex-speaker Mubarak Gul and political advisor to Mr. Omar Abdullah, Tanvir Sadiq, were released from the MLA hostel and shifted to their residences. Only eight leaders now remain detained in the MLA Hostel, including J&K Peoples Movement chief Shah Faesal.

The police claimed that two persons, including an LLB student, were held in Bandipora for pasting provocative posters of the banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba in Hajin area.

The police also seized two laptops on which the accused had allegedly used to create posters and paste them to disrupt peace in the area.

They were identified as Irfan Ahmad Bhat and Asif Ahmad Parrey. “Irfan is an LLB student while Asif was a sim card retailer,” the police said.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 8:18:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pdps-naeem-akhtar-sixth-mainstream-leader-to-be-booked-under-psa-in-kashmir/article30770360.ece

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