SOURCE: ZEE NEWS
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti was released on Tuesday night as the Union Territory administration revoked the Public Safety Act charges against her, more than a year after she was detained following the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state.
Mehbooba, 60, who was initially put under preventive custody on August 5, 2019, and later booked under the stringent PSA on February 6, was shifted to her official residence on April 7 after it was declared a subsidiary jail by the authorities.
The Deputy Commissioner ordered that the PSA has been revoked with immediate effect. Her detention period had been extended for a period of three months on July 31, 2020.
Her elated daughter Iltija expressed happiness that her mother was finally released from detention, which she alleged was “illegal, unlawful and a complete travesty of justice”. “I now hope that other youths who have been detained for over a year in various jails in and outside the state are also released soon,” Iltija told PTI.
She also signed off from her mother’s Twitter handle with a tweet: “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….”
The development came barely two days before the Supreme Court was to hear the matter related to her detention. The period for which Mufti was detained is 436 days, from August 4, 2019-October 13, 2020.
She was first detained under Sections 107 and 151 of CrPC but later booked under the controversial Public Safety Act. Initially, Mehbooba was lodged at Cheshma Shahi guest house and then shifted to another government guest house at M A Link Road in Srinagar. The PDP president was then taken to her residence where she remained under house arrest.
A J&K home department order read, “In exercise of powers under section 19(1) of the Jammu Kashmir Public Safety Act 1978 the government hereby revokes the detention order…issued by District Magistrate Srinagar which was extended for the period of three months…dated 31-07-2020 of Mehbooba Mufti D/I Lt Mufti Mohammad Syed R/I Bijbehara A/P Nowgam, Srinagar with immediate effect.”
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also tweeted that he was pleased to hear that Mehooba had 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,” he tweeted.
Iltija has in September again moved the Supreme Court against the continued detention of her mother under the stringent PSA. Mehbooba, president of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was arrested on the eve of abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.
Mehbooba, who became the first woman chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2016 as head of the PDP-BJP alliance, was arrested along with other leaders hours ahead of the Centre bifurcating the state into two union territories and abrogating Article 370.