Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday welcomed with a tweet the release of his political rival Mehbooba Mufti, who had been in detention since 5th August last year, when the Centre announced its massive decisions – to revoke special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories. The National Conference leader said her detention was a “travesty” and against the “tenets of democracy”.
He tweeted quoting that “I am pleased to hear that Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba has been released after more than a year in detention. Her continued detention was a travesty and was against the basic tenets of democracy. Welcome out Mehbooba.”
Omar Abdullah was also among the scores of politicians detained by the Jammu and Kashmir administration, a day before the Centre announced its decision in parliament.
In February this year, Mr. Abdullah and Ms. Mufti had been charged under the Public Safety Act – a stringent law that allows detention without trial for up to three months and multiple extensions. In late March, Mr. Abdullah was released by the administration. Since then, he has been demanding Ms. Mufti’s release.
A day after his release he tweeted “It’s callous; and cruel to continue to detain Mehbooba Mufti; and others at a time like this (COOID-19 outbreak). There was never much justification to detain everyone in the first place; and none at all to keep them detained as the country enters a three-week lockdown. I hope Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release them.”
Ms. Mufti’s release comes just as the deadline set by the Supreme Court was set to expire.
In September, the central government and J&K administration were asked by the court that “How long can Mehbooba Mufti be kept in custody?”
The top court gave two weeks time to the Jammu and Kashmir administration to give its stand on how Ms. Mufti can be kept in custody and whether her custody can be extended beyond one year.