Nearly after eight months in detention post the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah was released on Tuesday.
The Jammu and Kashmir government revoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) of Abdullah and ended his detention on after he and two other former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti along with hundreds of politicians were detained when the Central government abrogated Article 370 and divided the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh on August 5, 2019.
232 days after my detention today I finally left Hari Niwas. It’s a very different world today to the one that existed on 5th August 2019. pic.twitter.com/Y44MNwDlNz
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 24, 2020
Abdullah was under preventative detention since August and after six months the Centre detained him under Public Safety Act in February. This move was challenged by Omar’s sister Sara Abdullah Pilot in the Supreme Court.
The top court had last week asked the Centre to respond on Sara’s plea 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.
As Omar Abdullah walked out, his supporters gathered to welcome him.
Speaking to news agency ANI, he said: “The way Jammu and Kashmir was broken up into two UTs, how children couldn’t go to school for months, shopkeepers didn’t have an earning, Shikara owners had to face difficulties, I will talk about what all happened since August 5 after the current situation passes.”
He said, today he realises that the nation is fighting a war of life and death.
“All our people who have been detained should be released at this time. We must follow government orders to fight Coronavirus,” the NC leader said.
Omar’s father and National conference chief Farooq Abdullah was released from detention on March 13. Senior Abdullah was kept at his residence in Gupkar Road in Srinagar, which was turned into a sub-jail.
Farooq Abdullah was detained under the draconian Public Safety Act since September 15, which was extended for three more months on December 13, which was revoked.
Meanwhile, Mehbooba Mufti, who still continues to be in detention, earlier tweeted: “Glad he will be released. For all their talk of nari Shakti & women emancipation, seems like this regime fears women the most.”