New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA), said Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Under  the stringent PSA an individual can be detained for up to two years without any trial.

Notably, both Abdullah and Mufti had been placed under house arrest since August 5. Omar Abdullah’s father and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah was also detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA).  They were taken into custody as a ‘precautionary measure’ in the light of the central government’s decision to scrap Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Unko Public Safety Act ke tehat abhi detention mei rakha hi hai (they are still in detention under the Public Safety Act)”, the BJP President said, when asked to on the detention of Omar and Mehbooba, Shah, in an interview to India Today TV. BJP’s Twitter handle @BJPLive had also shared a video of the interview wherein Shah made the remark.

Furthermore, the Home Minister claimed that 40,000 residents were killed because of Article 370. “We have removed Article 370, we need time to send word down the line. If someone keeps scratching the wounds, people may get instigated. As a precaution, we have kept them under detention. It is better to take precaution than allow loss of life,” he justified the detention of mainstream leaders in Kashmir.

Later, he also dismissed the reports which say restriction are still in place in the Valley. “There had been no firing by security forces in the last two months. Kashmir is moving towards normalcy,” said Shah.