New Delhi: National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was released on Tuesday after over seven months in detention in the Valley. Earlier in the day, the Jammu and Kashmir government had issued an order to release Omar, who was kept in detention since August 5 last year, when the Centre revoked Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories. Also Read - Farooq Abdullah Makes 'Humanitarian' Demand, Asks J&K Leaders to Unite in Bringing Back All Detainees
“Today, I, realise that we are fighting a war of life and death. We must follow govt orders to fight Coronavirus”, said Omar, who was booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA). Also Read - Farooq Abdullah Released From Detention, Says 'Grateful to All Who Spoke For Our Freedom'
He also demanded the release of other detainees, including PDP leader and ex-CM Mehbooba Mufti. “In these hard conditions, Mehbooba Mufti and all other political and non-political leaders should be released,” he said. Also Read - Former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah To Be Released After 7 Months in Detention
He added,”The way J&K was broken up into 2 UTs, how children couldn’t go to school for months, shopkeepers didn’t have an earning, Shikara owners had to face difficulties..I’ll talk about what all happened since 5 Aug’19 after the current situation passes.”
His release comes nearly a week after the Supreme Court, while hearing Omar Abdullah’s sister’s petition seeking his immediate release, had asked the Narendra Modi-led Centre to respond by this week whether it planned to free him, or warned that it would hear the plea against his detention under PSA “on merits”.
“Now that things are settled in Kashmir, what are your instructions for his (Omar Abdullah’s) release,” the judges had asked.
On March 13, the J&K administration had revoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) against Omar Abdullah’s father Farooq Abdullah. “I can’t believe I’m free. I hope everybody else is released too,” Farooq Abdullah had said after his release.