Leaders remain under detention

SRINAGAR: Hundred days after the revocation of the special status to the state of J&K, three former Chief Ministers and hundreds of other political leaders and activists continue to remain under detention.

Ishfaq Tantry

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, November 11

Hundred days after the revocation of the special status to the state of J&K, three former Chief Ministers and hundreds of other political leaders and activists continue to remain under detention.

While Member of Parliament and five-time Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, who is also the president of the National Conference, continues to be detained under stringent Pubic Safety Act (PSA) at his Gupkar residence, which has been declared a subsidiary jail, NC Vice-President and former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, too, is under preventive detention at Hari Niwas Guest House since August 4, which has also been declared a subsidiary jail by the government.

Besides, PDP president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti also continues to be under preventive detention since August 4, who is currently lodged at a J&K Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) hut in Chashma Shahi. Earlier, she was lodged at Hari Niwas Guest House along with Omar. So far, no formal charges have been levelled against Omar and Mehbooba.

Apart from three former CMs, hundreds of other political leaders and activists also continue to be under preventive detention at different places. More than 30 other prominent political leaders, including People’s Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone, former minister and PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar, National Conference leader Ali Mohammad Sagar and IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal have been lodged at the luxurious Centaur Hotel on the banks of Dal Lake.

357 Habeas Corpus pleas

“So far, 608 Habeas Corpus petitions challenging the detention of people under PSA have been filed before the High Court this year. Among these, 357 petitions have been filed since August 5, including the petition challenging the PSA detention of Kashmir Bar president Mian Qayoom and also a petition challenging PSA detention of a cancer patient from Kulgam,” a lawyer at Srinagar High Court, who has been dealing with such cases, said.

1,300 under arrest

  • Among the detentions and arrests, around 5,000 people were released till the first week of November, whereas around 1,300 people, including 227 mainstream political leaders and activists, continue to remain under detention at different places across the region as the Kashmir lockdown completes 100 days on Wednesday.
  • This figure, however, does not include those booked and detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) even as the J&K High Court on November 7 received 357 Habeas Corpus petitions since August 5 challenging the detention of people under the PSA.

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