Leaders from across the political spectrum welcomed the release of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti after 14 months of detention in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into Union territories.
“I’m pleased to hear that @MehboobaMufti Sahiba has been released after more than a year in detention. Her continued detention was a travesty & was against the basic tenets of democracy. Welcome out Mehbooba,” National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah said in a tweet.
CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said Mufti’s release was a welcome relief but the administration should also consider the cases of all other detenues arrested after August 5. “There are a vast number of persons still in jails since last year under PSA. The administration should consider releasing them too,” he said.
Mufti, a former Jammu and Kashmir CM, was released on Tuesday (October 13) night as the Union Territory administration revoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) charges against her, more than a year after she was detained following the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state.
Mehbooba, 60, who was initially put under preventive custody on August 5, 2019, and later booked under the stringent PSA on February 6, was shifted to her official residence on April 7 after it was declared a subsidiary jail by the authorities.
The Deputy Commissioner ordered that the PSA has been revoked with immediate effect. Her detention period had been extended for a period of three months on July 31, 2020.
The development came barely two days before the Supreme Court was to hear the matter related to her detention. The period for which Mufti was detained is 436 days, from August 4, 2019-October 13, 2020.
She was first detained under Sections 107 and 151 of CrPC but later booked under the controversial Public Safety Act. Initially, Mehbooba was lodged at Cheshma Shahi guest house and then shifted to another government guest house at M A Link Road in Srinagar. The PDP president was then taken to her residence where she remained under house arrest.1057