The detention of Mehbooba Mufti (the former CM of Jammu and Kashmir) has been extended by the three months under the Public Safety Act. Both the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have described the extension of Mufti as cruel and regressive.
Merely three hours before the detention of former Jammu & Kashmir CM, Mehbooba Mufti was about to expire, an order to extend the detention by three more months was issued by the home department of the UT.
Under the Public Safety Act, the detention of the senior National Conference leader Ali Mohammed Sagar and People’s Democratic Party’s Sartaj Madani was also extended for three months.
While Mehbooba Mufti is currently lodged at her official residence ‘Fair View’ which has been converted into a subsidiary jail, the other two NC and PDP leaders Sagar and Madani are in a government accommodation at Gupkar Road in Srinagar.
Omar Abdullah, once a strong political rival of Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter to state that the decision to extend the detention of Mufti was “Unbelievably cruel & retrograde decision to extend @MehboobaMufti’s detention. Nothing she has done or said in any way justifies the way the Indian state has treated her & the others detained.”
He added that “For a government that is making tall claims about normality in J&K the last few days coupled with the extension of Ms Mufti’s detention is proof enough that Modi ji has single-handedly pushed J&K back by decades.”
Omar Abdullah was also initially detained along with Mufti and many other senior leaders of the valley in August last year after the BJP led government of India abrogated the special status of the erstwhile state and divided it into two union territories, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Later, their six-month preventive custody was extended by invoking the PSA on February 6, however, Omar Abdullah was released late in March after about 8 months of his confinement.
Mufti’s daughter, Iltija also tweeted from her mother’s official twitter handle saying “Stifling voices of reason has become the norm for the current dispensation esp post illegal scrapping of Article 370. Therefore, the extension of my mother’s detention doesn’t surprise me. Wishful thinking to assume that by smothering any debate on Article 370, the issue will vanish,”
In February, Iltija had also moved a habeas corpus petition, before the Supreme Court in challenging her mother’s detention. The habeas corpus petition which is a writ seeking production of a person supposed to be in illegal detention before a court was posted for March 18, however, it could not be heard due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Apart from the political leaders, PDP supporters are also unhappy with their elected leaders being kept under house arrest. Shazia, a resident of Baramulla district of J&K told EurAsian Times that “It was not our decision to remove the special status of Kashmir, it was not our decision to convert the whole state into a UT, our only decision was our leader, the one we voted for, but we are stripped of having a leader as well.”
The PSA was slapped on the president of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mufti, this year on February 6. The PSA dossier mentioned that “The subject (Mufti) is referred, for her dangerous and treacherous schemes and expropriating profile and nature, by the masses as ‘Daddy’s girl’ and ‘Kota Rani’, based on the profile of a medieval queen of Kashmir, who ascended to power by virtue of undertaking intrigues ranging from the poisoning of her opponents to ponyardings,”.
The dossier also accused Mufti of making anti-national statements and extending support to Jamaat-e-Islami, an organisation banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.