A day after he was slapped with the stringent Public Safety Act, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday met his sister and daughter and spent time reading newspapers. The action against 81-year-old Abdullah, who is also a five-time parliament member, was taken by the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday.
The order was issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar at 1 am and it was served to the three-time former chief minister by an additional deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police. He has been under detention since August 5, the day the Centre abrogated the special status of the state.
Abdullah’s elder daughter Safia, who lives next door, met him during the day. She was asked by the authorities to make a formal entry into the house and approach through the main gate as the incumbent Lok Sabha MP’s house was converted into a jail by a government order.
Earlier Safia, during his detention since August 5, used to visit him through an inside gate connecting the two houses. However, the gate had a guard on Tuesday and she was asked to approach through the main gate, the officials said. The former chief minister’s sister, Suraya, who also stays nearby, was also allowed to meet him in custody, they said.
The guards of the former chief minister were also with him. During the day, Abdullah spent time walking in the lawn, reading the newspaper and watching news on television, the officials said.
The National Conference president has been booked under the ‘public order’ provision of the PSA under which a person can be kept in jail for six months without a trial, the officials said.
Abdullah, who became the first chief minister against whom the PSA has been invoked, has a pacemaker implanted in his heart and had undergone a kidney transplant a few years ago.
Immediately after the detention of the sitting Lok Sabha MP, barricading came up on the Gupkar Road and concertina wire laid on the ground to regulate traffic. However, it was removed during the night and traffic was allowed freely on Tuesday.
On Monday, hours before he was slapped with the PSA, the Supreme Court heard a petition by MDMK leader Vaiko who claimed that Abdullah was illegally detained in the state. Abdullah’s son and former chief minister Omar and ex-chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, several other leaders have been under detention since August 5 when the government announced the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and the bifurcation of the state into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
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