Sister of the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Sara Abdullah Pilot, challenged her brother's detention under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) in the Supreme Court of India on Monday.
Omar, along with another chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti were, in preventive custody, but the government booked them under the tough Public Safety Act (PSA) on 6 February. The grounds of detention under the act against Omar were that he had made attempts to provoke masses against the revocation of Article 370.
“The capacity of the subject to influence people for any cause can be gauged from the fact that he was able to convince his electorate to come out and vote in huge numbers even during the peak of militancy and poll boycotts”, a dossier prepared by the police stated.
Sara Abdullah Pilot said in her petition that the detention of her brother under the Public Safety Act was purely on political grounds, as mere opposition to the policy of the federal government was cited as against national interest to justify his continued detention.
On the eve of the abrogation of Article 370, 6,605 persons were taken into preventive custody. At present, 437 are still under detention, while others have been let off.
The Public Safety Act is a preventive detention law that allows the government to detain a person for up to two years without a trial. It also allows the state to hold a person without producing them in court.
Omar’s father and former state chief Farooq Abdullah was also detained under the PSA in September 2019.
India's parliament revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August and divided it into two federally-administered territories. The state remained in locked-down after the abrogation of the constitutional provision, but it was removed in a phased manner and telephone services were also restored.