The Indian government released former Jammu and Kashmir chief Omar Abdullah after eight months of detention on Tuesday. Rohit Kansal, the principal secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, confirmed the decision in a tweet.
Govt issues orders revoking detention of Shri Omar Abdullah@diprjk— Rohit Kansal (@kansalrohit69) March 24, 2020
On 13 March, the government had released Omar Abdullah’s father and also former state chief Farooq Abdullah. This is the second big release from among the Kashmiri leadership while another former J&K chief Mehbooba Mufti remains under detention.
After his release, Omar tweeted that it's a different world now.
232 days after my detention today I finally left Hari Niwas. It’s a very different world today to the one that existed on 5th August 2019. pic.twitter.com/Y44MNwDlNz— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 24, 2020
Soon after the announcement of Omar's release, Mehbooba said: "Glad he will be released. For all their talk of nari shakti (women empowerment) and women emancipation, seems like this regime fears women the most."
The leaders were jailed under the Public Safety Act, under which the government can detain a person for up to two years without trial.
In December 2019, the government released five Kashmiri politicians — 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.
The leaders were detained in order to contain the backlash following the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, which withdrew the special status of the state. Following the abrogation, the state was bifurcated into two federally administered territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.