Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah was released yesterday after the government revoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) against him.
He was detained more than seven months ago along with two other former chief ministers – his father Farooq Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti – ahead of the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.
“Government issues orders revoking detention of Shri Omar Abdullah,” government spokesman Rohit Kansal tweeted.
The order comes just a day before the Supreme Court was to hear his detention.
Safiya Abdullah, sister of Omar Abdullah told IANS the family was very relieved.
“The news came all of a sudden, we are really happy that he is being released,” she added.
Omar was among 50-odd politicians who were kept under ‘preventive detention’ after the revocation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories (UTs).
A few days before Article 370 was scrapped by the Bharatiya Janata Party government, Farooq Abdullah had presided over a meeting of all parties in Kashmir in which Omar also participated and adopted the Gupkar declaration which said they would not accept any tinkering with Article 370.
Meanwhile, Apni Party leader Atlaf Bukari has welcomed the release of Omar Abdullah and demanded the release of Mufti and all other political detainees.
In a statement, Bukhari termed the revocation of the PSA against Omar a significant move that will help in making the situation more conducive in Jammu and Kashmir.
“It has been our consistent demand that all political activists and leaders, including former chief ministers be released to ease up the sufferings of people. Their release has assumed more significance in light of the Covid-19 outbreak that has paralysed the whole world,” Bukhari said.
He said that hundreds of political activists who are presently detained in jails outside Jammu and Kashmir like Ambedkar Nagar, Lukhnow, Allahabad, Agra, Rai Bareli, Agartala and Tihar need to be shifted back to their native places immediately so as to ensure their safety from the pandemic.
“On the one side the central government is taking all measures to stem spread of the Covid-19 and on the other hand it seems the plight of political detainees and their families is being ignored for obvious reasons,” Bukhari said.
He said there are families who are not in a position to meet their loved ones detained after August 5, 2019.
“The government imposed restrictions on interstate travel and the spread of Covid-19 has further added to the woes of families of the political detainees. The government must immediately release all the political detainees and till those formalities are completed their lodgement should be shifted to J&K without any further delay,” he said.
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