THE J&K administration extended by three months the detention of National Conference leader and three-time chief minister Farooq Abdullah. This is the second extension for Abdullah, who was detained in his home on Gupkar Road, Srinagar — now declared a subsidiary jail — ahead of the August 5 revocation of Article 370 that accorded special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Abdullah is being held under the Public Safety Act, 1978, “with a view to prevent him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order”, the order extending his detention stated. After the initial 12-day custody at home, the state administration had extended his detention for a period of three months until December 15. The current extension allows for Abdullah to be held until March 15. The maximum period for which such detention can be extended is two years.
The 21-page dossier prepared by the state ahead of his detention notes that “the subject has tremendous potential for creating an environment of public disorder within the district and other parts of Kashmir Valley. The conduct of the subject is seen as fanning the emotions of general masses against the Union of India, instigating public with statements against the unity and integrity of India”. The document, which has recorded 27 charges against Abdullah, 16 police reports and 13 statements made by him in favour of Article 35A and 3 FIRs, some from as far back as 2016.
“On the 11th birth anniversary of his father at Naseembagh Hazratbal, in December 2016, triggered controversy by making explicit overtures towards separatist conglomerate namely Hurriyat Conference by stating that they should unite with his party for the cause of Kashmir.”
Despite demands by the Opposition that Abdullah be released and allowed to attend Parliament’s Winter Session, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said political leaders detained in J&K will be released by the state administration without interference from the Centre.
Former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah continue to remain in detention since August 5.