Highlights

  • Former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister and MP Farooq Abdullah was detained at his residence in Srinagar
  • The National Conference “patron” has been held for “acting in a manner prejudicial to maintenance of public order”, according to sources
  • He is the first political leader to be proceeded against under the stringent PSA

Former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister and MP Farooq Abdullah (File photo)

NEW DELHI/ SRINAGAR: Former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister and MP Farooq Abdullah was detained at his residence in Srinagar on Sunday night under the Public Safety Act (PSA), under a section that can mean detention for up to a year.

The National Conference “patron” has been held for “acting in a manner prejudicial to maintenance of public order”. He is the first political leader to be proceeded against under the stringent PSA after the abrogation of J&K’s special status under Article 370, sources in the state government said.

Farooq detained under Act passed by dad Sheikh Abdullah 40 years ago

The PSA provision applied in Abdullah’s case allows him to be detained for a period of a year without trial. His son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, both also former CMs, are being held under Section 107 of the CRPC which is applied in apprehension of likely breach of peace.

Abdullah’s detention order came ahead of a hearing on a petition filed by MDMK leader Vaiko in the SC seeking reasons for Abdullah’s confinement since the August 5. Hearing the petition on Monday, the bench sought a response from the Centre and the state by September 30.

Interestingly, the J&K Public Safety Act was passed by Abdullah’s late father Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 to take action against timber smugglers. It enabled the government to detain a person for six months in the first instance and, thereafter, extend the detention for two years without any trial. Abdullah is said to be ailing for some time now and underwent a kidney transplant two years ago.

After Article 370 was rendered a dead letter, Abdullah was under “unofficial” house arrest. However, home minister Amit Shah had told Parliament that Abdullah was not under detention. Sources told TOI the leader was booked under the PSA clause dealing with “activities prejudicial to maintenance of public order” in the wake of his recent statements.

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