After almost eight months of being detained, the government of Indian-administered Kashmir on Friday revoked the detention of former state chief Farooq Abdullah.
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah after his release said: "Today I don't have words. I am free today; Now, I will be able to go to Delhi and attend the Parliament and speak for you all."
Rohit Kansal, the principal secretary of Jammu and Kashmir – now a federally administered territory, tweeted the decision, which came into immediate effect.
Govt issues orders revoking detention of Dr Farooq Abdullah pic.twitter.com/tcBzkwY7dI— Rohit Kansal (@kansalrohit69) March 13, 2020
The order says that under section 19 (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978, the government revokes the detention order which was extended twice for three months.
Under the Public Safety Act, the government can detain a person for up to two years without trial. It also allows the state to detain a person without producing him/her in court.
Two more chiefs of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in preventive detention under the Public Safety Act – Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – were taken into preventive detention along with Dr Farooq Abdullah.
The government earlier released five Kashmiri politicians, including Ghulam Nabi Bhat and Ishfaq Jabbar of the National Conference (NC), Zahoor Mir, Yashir Reshi of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP), and Bashir Mir of the Congress Party in December 2019.
India abrogated Article 370 of the constitution in early August 2019 and withdrew the special status enjoyed by the state, in addition to bifurcating it into two federally administered territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.