Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti was detained on August 5 last year (2019) when the Union government bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. But her detention period has been extended by three months under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA). It is extended at a time when her detention was about to expire.
Several J&K leaders under house arrest
The detention of two other leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference leader Ali Mohammed Sagar and senior PDP leader Sartaj Madani, has also been extended. Apart from this, some other prominent leaders such as Shah Faesal, Naeem Akhtar, and Hilal Akbar Lone were also detained under PSA. A person can be detained under PSA several times without any trial.
Currently, Mehbooba Mufti’s official residence has been converted into a subsidiary jail for the last one month. She has been going through her detention period at her home. While two other leaders are lodged in government accommodation, with the extension of three months under PSA, Mehbooba Mufti will have to spend a year in detention because her next review period of detention falls in August.
Habeas corpus petition by Iltija
Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija had challenged her mother’s detention. She moved a habeas corpus petition before the Supreme Court in February this year. The three-judge bench has sought the response of Jammu and Kashmir’s administration on this matter. But the hearing of the petition did not take place due to the spread of deadly COVID-19.
PDP makes govt with BJP
Before shifting to her residence earlier, the PDP leader Mehbooba Sayeed was lodged in a government guest house near Lal Chowk. Mehbooba Mufti is the supremo of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Her party formed a government in Jammu and Kashmir in alliance with the BJP in 2014.
Father-son duo freed
Several noted political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir including two former chief ministers and father-son duo Farooq and Omar Abdullah were detained on August 5, 2019. The Public Safety Act of Abdullahs was cancelled in March this year.
After the abrogation of Article 370, several prominent politicians of Jammu and Kashmir were detained. Here is a roundup of prominent Kashmiri politicians and leaders were under house arrest:
Farooq Abdullah’s family has governed Jammu and Kashmir for about seven decades. The 83 years old veteran leader was a supporter of Article 370, and openly proclaims that Article 370 is a “matter of honour” for the Kashmiris. He is the president of Kashmir’s oldest political party ‘National Conference’. He was detained on August 5, 2019, but released in March this year. He was the son of Sheikh Abdullah who was the chief minister of the then J&K in 1975, and he died in 1982.
The former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and son of Farooq Abdullah is the third-generation leader of the National Conference. He was also arrested on August 5, 2019, and lodged at Hari Niwas, a state guesthouse. He had also served as the junior external affairs minister in a BJP led coalition government. He was the chief minister of J&K when the National Conference had an alliance with the Congress. This dynamic leader has huge followers on Twitter. At present, he is not under detention.
Mehbooba Mufti served as the last Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir till 2018. She is the daughter of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, a well-known figure in Jammu and Kashmir politics. She was arrested on August 5 last year and now her detention period has been extended for another three months.
Shah Faesal topped in the Civil Services examination in 2010. He left the prestigious job of being an IAS officer and decided to enter politics. He is a role model for many young Kashmiris. He is under detention at the moment.
Syed Ali Geelani
He is a member of Hurriyat, a separatist front. He and his family members were investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for funding’ terrorist activities’. But he denied this allegation. He has been under detention for almost nine years.
A separatist leader, Umar Farooq was put under house arrest before Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s J&K visits in February. He used to describe Article 370 as an “article of faith”. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has also questioned him over terror funding and his alleged links with Pakistan. His status of detention is not clear yet.