Srinagar: Former IAS officer and J&K leader Shah Faesal has been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) after his six-month-long detention came to an end on Saturday. With this the number of J&K leaders booked under the PSA has risen up to eight, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
On August 14 last year, over a week after the Centre had repealed Article 370 that accorded special status to J&K, Faesal was stopped from flying out of the country at the Delhi airport and sent back to Srinagar, where he was placed under preventive detention.
Faesal, a topper of the 2009 UPSC civil services exams, resigned from the government services and joined mainstream politics in January 2019. Two months later, he launched his own political party – the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement.
On February 6, Omar and Mehbooba were booked under the PSA which came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament said statements made by three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir on the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 were not acceptable.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has cited Omar's ability to “convince his electorate to vote in huge numbers” as one of the reasons for invoking the stringent PSA against him.
The dossier also referred to Mehbooba as “Daddy’s girl” and “Kota Rani”, and accuses the former chief minister of making anti-national statements and extending support to organisations such as the Jamaat-e-Islamia, which has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Farooq Abdullah, Omar's father, was booked under the PSA in September 2019, which was reviewed again in December and extended for three more months.
The PSA allows the detention of any individual for up to two years without a trial or charge. The legislation also allows for the arrest and detention of people without a warrant, specific charges, and often for an unspecified period of time. The act, which came handy for the police to book separatists and militant sympathisers, has two sections — 'public order' and 'threat to security of the state'. The former allows detention without trial for six months and the latter for two years.