June 17, 2020 5:40:57 am
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday quashed the detention of National Conference general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar.
Sagar’s lawyer Shariq Reyaz told The Indian Express, “We had argued that the grounds for his detention were not supplemented by any material. All that was held against him was that he was opposed to the idea of abrogation of Article 370 and that sometime in July 2019, he had held a meeting with his party workers where he had said, if it is abrogated, we will go on mass agitation.”
Sagar was first detained under provisions of preventive detention in August 2019 in the run up to the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. He was charged under the Public Safety Act in February this year.
Reyaz stated that the court held that “opposition to abrogation of Article 370 cannot by itself be a basis for threat to public order”. He said the court had directed the Additional Advocate General to release Sagar at once, “but they will wait for the order and we are expecting him to be released tomorrow”.
National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah tweeted that the quashing of Sagar’s detention by the high court “highlights the unjust & indefensible nature of the 5th Aug detentions”.
Reiterating his call for PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s release, Omar said, “I hope @MehboobaMufti’s legal team take heart from today’s judgement in the J&K High Court quashing Sagar Sb’s PSA detention to pursue Ms Mufti’s case in the Supreme Court with increased determination & vigour. She deserves to be freed without further loss of time.”
Sagar’s son Salman Sagar tweeted, “Extremely happy to let all of you know that the PSA against Sagar sb. has been quashed by the J&K High court after the court proceedings which took 6 hearings and finally the judgement has been delivered.” Besides Mufti, PDP leader Naeem Akhtar, NC’s Hilal Lone and People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone, among others, continue to remain in detention.
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