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Published On: Tue, Mar 24th, 2020

J&K: Omar Abdullah released from detention after nearly 8 months

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omar-abdullahSRINAGAR : Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was, on Tuesday, released from detention after nearly 8 months following revocation of Public Safety Act (PSA) charges, officials confirmed. He, along with Mehbooba Mufti was jailed under PSA ‘public safety act’.
The former Chief Minister was detained along with hundreds of politicians in August, when the centre decided to end special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two union territories. A swarm of media personnel and supporters, many of them in masks, waited for him outside his residence after he was released.
Abdullah, who turned 50 on March 10, had spent 232 days in custody he, along with his father Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, was detained on August 5, after the government abrogated Article 370 and revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mehbooba Mufti, another former Chief Minister detained on the same day, August 5, tweeted: “Glad he will be released. For all their talk of nari Shakti & women emancipation, seems like this regime fears women the most.”
The Supreme Court had last week, on Omar Abdullah’s sister’s petition for his immediate release, asked the centre to respond by this week whether it planned to free him.
“If you are releasing him, then release him soon or we will hear the matter on merits,” the Supreme Court told the government.”Now that things are settled in Kashmir, what are your instructions for his (Omar Abdullah’s) release,” the judges asked.
The state was divided into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir with a legislative assembly and Ladakh, without one. The mainstream leadership in the state has remained in detention ever since.
The government had also snapped data and telecom services and deployed thousands of troops into the Valley to prevent a violent backlash against its moves, due to which, the valley experienced a massive communication last year.
The charges listed out in a dossier against the 50-year-old National Conference leader included his “ability to garner votes even during peak militancy and poll boycotts”. It said Mr Abdullah, a former Union Minister, could influence people for any cause and specifically cited his ability to bring voters out in the wake of boycott calls by separatists.
Mr Abdullah’s sister Sara Abdullah Pilot, in her petition to the Supreme Court, said her brother had been detained on the basis of social media posts “that are non-existent have been wrongly, maliciously attributed to (Omar Abdullah)”.Mr Abdullah has been seen during his detention with a beard. He had resolved not to shave until he was released as a mark of protest.
Meanwhile, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti on Tuesday welcomed National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah’s release from nearly eight months of detention.

However, Iltija, whose mother is still under detention under the Public Safety Act, said for all its talk of women power and women emancipation, the Centre seems to fear women the most – referring to her mother’s continued detention.
“Glad he will be released. For all their talk of nari Shakti & women emancipation, seems like this regime fears women the most (sic),” Iltija wrote on Mehbooba Mufti’s Twitter handle. She has been tweeting from her mother’s handle ever since the PDP president and former chief minister was detained in August last year.
(With Agency Inputs ).



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