In a major development in Kashmir, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah was on Monday detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA). Farooq Abdullah, 81, was arrested at his residence in Srinagar.
Not just that, the place where Farooq Abdullah will be housed has been declared a temporary jail, through an order. "We have arrested him, and a committee will decide how long the arrest will be," said Muneer Khan, a top police official was quoted by the Associated Press.
Abdullah is the first politician who has been arrested under the Public Safety Act, under which rights activists say more than 20,000 Kashmiris have been detained in the last two decades, AP reported.
The PSA allows detention of any individual for up to two years without a trial. Ironically, the law was first promulgated during Sheikh Abdullah's tenure, father of Faoor Abdullah. The PSA came into effect in 1978. The law, in its early days, was supposedly meant to target timber smugglers in Kashmir.
Farooq Abdullah, also a sitting Lok Sabha member from Srinagar has been under house arrest since August 5, when the Government of India abrogated Article 370 of the constitution that gave special powers to Kashmir.
Recently, National Conference MPs were allowed to visit Farooq and his son and also another former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, but with restrictions that they cannot interact with media following the meeting.
It was after Justice Sanjeev Kumar had allowed the petition filed by MPs Justice (retd.) Hasnain Masoodi (Anantnag) and Akbar Lone (Baramulla).
The Supreme Court on Monday also issued notice to the Centre, and the J&K administration on detention of the NC chief. The bench was responding to a plea by Rajya Sabha MP and MDMK general secretary Vaiko seeking production of Abdullah senior.