Crescent Kashmir

‘High time Mehbooba Mufti is released’: Rahul Gandhi targets Centre

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Accusing the Central government of undermining democracy by ‘illegally” detaining political leaders, Congress’ Rahul Gandhi on Sunday pitched for release of Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti from home detention.

Mufti, who has been held under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) since the early hours of August 5 last year, is among 20-odd political leaders in the Valley who continue to remain under detention.

“India’s democracy is damaged when GOI illegally detains political leaders. It’s high time Mehbooba Mufti is released,” tweeted the Congress leader.

The tweet follows the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s decision to extend the detention of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti by three months even as it released People’s Conference chief Sajad Gani Lone in Srinagar on Friday.

“In exercise of powers conferred by section 8 (1) a read with clause a of sub section (1) of section 18 of JKPSA 1978, the government hereby directs that the period of detention of Mehbooba Mufti, D/O Mufti Mohammad Sayeed R/O Bijbhera A/P Nowgam Srinagar be extended for further period of three months and she may be lodged in subsidiary jail Fairview Gupkar Road Srinagar,” read the order issued on Friday.

This is the second time that PSA has been extended in Mufti’s case. Under the PSA, a person can be kept under detention for up to two years.

‘It’s high time the BJP realises that we as Kashmiris refuse to be trivialised,” the PDP said soon after the leader’s detention was extended.

The National Conference, in a tweet, questioned the rationale of holding on to the Public Safety Act, saying the law does not exist anywhere else in the country.

“Good to hear that Sajad Lone has been released from illegal house arrest. I hope others under similar illegal detention will also be released without delay,” said Omar Abdullah, who also spent considerable time in detention.

The PDP ran a coalition government in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir with the BJP until the alliance collapsed in June 2018 that prompted the imposition of the Governor’s rule.


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