Jammu & Kashmir

Calling India’s democracy ‘damaged’ Rahul Gandi says ‘high time to release former JK CM Mehbooba Mufti’

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Srinagar: Terming the detention of Kashmiri political leaders, “illegal” the former Indian National Congress President, Rahul Gandhi on Sunday pitched for release of Peoples Democratic Party Chief Mehbooba Mufti, from her home detention.

In a tweet, Gandhi said that the democracy of India is damaged as it has illegally detained the political leaders of Kashmir and its high time that government of India should release the former Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chief, Mehbooba Mufti.

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

Earlier on July 31, the Jammu and Kashmir administration extended the detention period of former Mehbooba lodged under the stringent PSA.

In an order by the Home Department of the J&K administration, the extension of PSA was made under the public order provisions of the act.

Mehbooba was detained on August 5 last year when the Centre abrogated special status of the erstwhile State and bifurcated it into two union territories — Ladakh and J&K.

Later on February 5, her six-month custody was extended by invoking PSA along with National Conference President and former JK chief minister Omar Abdullah.

Having spent over eight months in detention at two government facilities that were designated as sub-jails, Mehbooba was shifted to her home on April 7, where she remains under house detention.

Mehbooba heads the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which was in power in Jammu and Kashmir in alliance with the BJP till June 2018.

Besides Mehbooba, several political leaders including Omar Abdullah, his father Farooq Abdullah,Shah Faesal, Sajad Lone and many others were detained by the authorities on August 5, 2019, hours before the scrapping of Article 370

Pertinently, the daughter of Mehbooba, Iltija Mufti, has moved a habeas corpus petition before the Supreme Court in February challenging her mother’s detention.

In this regard, a three-judge bench had issued a notice to the JK administration seeking its response on the plea.

The J&K administration also released People’s Conference (PC) chairperson Sajad Lone, on July 31.

Lone, who was also a part of the Gupkar Declaration, was arrested on 5 August last year and lodged at MLA Hostel for six months before being shifted to Chruch Lane, where he was put under strict house detention.


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