Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was released late Tuesday night after being detained for nearly 14 months as the Union Territory administration revoked the Public Safety Act charges against her, barely two days before the Supreme Court was to hear the matter related to her detention. Also Read - Unlock 5: Now 15000 Devotees Per day Can Offer Prayers at Vaishnodevi Temple From Nov 1
The Deputy Commissioner ordered that the PSA has been revoked with immediate effect. Her detention period had been extended for a period of three months on July 31 this year. Also Read - Terrorist Hideout Busted in J&K's Rajouri, Huge Cache of Arms & Ammunition Recovered
“Ms Mehbooba Mufti being released,” Rohit Kansal, J&K Principal Secretary, tweeted at 9.17 pm. Also Read - Kulgam Killing: Coward Pakistanis Will Pay Heavy Price, Each of Them Will be Neutralised, Says J&K BJP Chief
Mehbooba, 60, who was initially put under preventive custody on August 5 last year and later booked under the stringent PSA on February 6, was shifted to her official residence on April 7 after it was declared a subsidiary jail by the authorities.
Her daughter Iltija expressed happiness that her mother was finally released from detention, which she alleged was “illegal, unlawful and a complete traversity of justice”.
“I now hope that other youths who have been detained for over a year in various jails in and outside the state are also released soon,” Iltija told PTI.
She also signed off from her mother’s Twitter handle with a message: “As Ms Mufti’s illegal detention finally comes to an end, I’d like to thank everybody who supported me in these tough times. I owe a debt of gratitude to you all. This is Iltija signing off….”
On September 29, the Supreme Court while hearing a habeas corpus petition by Iltija, challenging challenging her “illegal” detention, had questioned the central and J&K governments, asking: “How long can Mehbooba Mufti be kept in custody?” The J&K administration was given two weeks – till October 14 – to explain how long they intended to do so.
The court was scheduled to hear the matter again later this week.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also tweeted that he was pleased to hear that Mehooba had been released after more than a year in detention.
“Her continued detention was a travesty and was against the basic tenets of democracy. Welcome out Mehbooba,” he tweeted.
Mehbooba, president of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was arrested on the eve of abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two Union Territories on August 5 last year.
Omar and his father Farooq Abdullah had also been detained under the PSA but were released in March this year.
Minutes after the announcement, a PDP spokesman said Mehbooba will address a press conference on October 16.
“@jkpdp president @MehboobaMufti would be addressing a press conference on Friday, 16th of October, 2020. Timing of the presser would be shared separately,” PDP spokesman Suhail Bukhari tweeted.
CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said Mehbooba’s release was a welcome relief but the administration should consider cases of all other detainees arrested after August 5.