Officials on Tuesday said the detention of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) has been extended by three months.
The detention of former minister and senior National Conference leader Ali Mohammed Sagar and senior PDP leader and Mufti's uncle, Sartaj Madani, was also extended by another three months.
Several political leaders, including Mufti, Omar Abdullah and his father and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah were detained by authorities on August 5. The PSA of senior Abdullah and his son was revoked earlier in March.
In a brief order by the Home Department of the Jammu and Kashmir administration, the extension of PSA was made under the public order provisions of the act.
While Mufti is currently lodged at her official residence 'Fair View', which has been converted into a subsidiary jail, Sagar and Madani are in a government accommodation at Gupkar road.
'Cruel and retrograde'
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said the decision was "unbelievably cruel" and "retrograde".
"Unbelievably cruel and retrograde decision to extend Mehbooba Mufti's detention. Nothing she has done or said in any way justifies the way the Indian state has treated her and the others detained," Abdullah said in a tweet.
"For a government that is making tall claims about normality in J&K the last few days coupled with the extension of Ms Mufti's detention is proof enough that [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi ji has singlehandedly pushed J&K back decades," he added.
Mufti was initially detained on August 5 last year when the Centre abrogated the special status of the erstwhile state and bifurcated it into two union territories -- Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
Having spent over eight months in detention at two government facilities designated as sub-jails, Mufti was shifted to her home on April 7 in partial relief.
Mufti heads the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which was in power in Jammu and Kashmir in alliance with the BJP till June 2018.
Initially, she was taken into preventive custody. Later on February 5 this year, she was slapped with the PSA.
Earlier, Mufti was lodged a government guesthouse in Chashma Shahi and a bungalow on Maulana Azad Road near Lal Chowk.
Mufti's daughter, Iltija, moved a habeas corpus petition before the Supreme Court in February challenging her mother's detention.
A three-judge bench had issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir administration seeking its response on the plea and posted the matter for a hearing on March 18. However, the petition was not taken up for hearing due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Habeas corpus is a writ seeking production of a person supposed to be in illegal detention before a court.
(With inputs from PTI)