Hours after PM’s statement, J&K government books two former chief ministers

SRINAGAR: Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, Jammu and Kashmir government slapped stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) on the two former chief ministers.

A magistrate accompanied by police served the PSA dossier order to Mehbooba Mufti at a government bungalow designated as sub-jail. Omar, who is detained at Hari Niwas palace which has been designated as sub-jail, too was booked under PSA.

Under PSA, described a lawless law by Amnesty International, a person can be jailed from three months to two years without trial or bail.

“Ms Mufti received a PSA order some time ago. Slapping PSA on two ex Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers is expected from an autocratic regime that books nine year old for `seditious remarks’. Question is how much longer will we act as bystanders as they desecrate what this nation stands for,” tweeted Iltija Mufti from the Twitter handle of her mother Mehbooba Mufti.

Last year, the government had booked another former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha member from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the PSA. The 82-year-old Farooq has been detained in his house which has been designated as sub-jail.

The PSA was slapped on two former chief ministers’ hours after Mehbooba’s uncle and former MLA Sartaj Madni and National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar were booked under PSA.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister lashed out at three former chief ministers while replying on the motion of thanks to President’s address in the parliament.

“She (Mehbooba) said we made the wrong decision in 1947… Do the people here support these statements? Omar Abdullah said abrogation of Article 370 will bring such an earthquake that Kashmir will separate from the country. Farooq Abdullah said the abrogation will open the way for Kashmir’s independence… Can anyone agree with such language?” he said.

Kashmir has been simmering after the abrogation of article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two union territories – Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir. Ladakh.

In fact, the entire political leadership of Kashmir was jailed on August 5. Those jailed include three former chief ministers –Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah.

Official figures reveal that more than 5161 people including stone pelters, miscreants, over ground workers and politicians were arrested since the abrogation of Article 370

Ishfaq Ul Hassan

An accredited journalist with 22 years of professional experience, Ishfaq-Ul-Hassan has worked as a reporter based in Kashmir for two decades. He has covered various beats including militancy, politics, defence, minorities, social issues, religious groups and women issues in Kashmir. He had previously worked as Special Correspondent in Jammu and Kashmir for DNA (Daily News and Analysis) Newspaper for 13 years. Ishfaq is also associated with the New Delhi- based television company `Asia Pacific Communication Associates’ which produced the famous series “Subah-Bakhar-Kashmir” for satellite Kashmir channel of Doordarshan. In 2004, he was awarded the Charkha-Sanjoy Ghosh Fellowship for Peace and Development for his research on families divided across the LOC in Kashmir.

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