07:31 GMT29 March 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status by abrogating Article 370 in August 2019. In order to curb protests following the decision, around 500 Kashmiri political leaders were placed under detention, including former state chiefs Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti.

    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. 

    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. 

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    Tags:
    special status, detention, Jammu and Kashmir, India
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