Police description of Mehbooba as ‘daddy’s girl’ not part of grounds for her detention under PSA
Srinagar, Feb 16: The police’s description of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti as “daddy’s girl” is not among the grounds for her detention under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), according to official records.
The seven-page order served on the 60-year-old PDP chief, the daughter of party founder and former chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, has stated 12 grounds for her detention under the ‘Public Order’ segment of the PSA that was invoked against her on February 06.
Senior officials in the Jammu and Kashmir administration involved in the decision-making process explained that the police dossier is submitted to the district magistrate who, in his/her wisdom, decides the grounds for detaining any person.
Citing section 13 of the PSA, the officials said that when a person is detained in pursuance of a detention order, the authority concerned needs to communicate the grounds for detention to the person to enable him/her to make a representation against it to the government.
In its dossier, the police recommended Mufti’s detention for her “dangerous and insidious mechanization and usurping profile and nature by the masses as ‘Daddy’s girl’ and ‘Kota Rani'” based on the profile of a medieval queen who rose to power by virtue of undertaking intrigues ranging from poisoning of her opponents to ponyardings.
However, the district magistrate, who is the executive officer, did not include this as a reason in the detention order against her under the PSA, the officials said.
The officials said the police dossier submitted to the district magistrate only helps in identifying the grounds for detention, and that the expressions such as “daddy’s girl” and “Kota Rani” had not been used at all in the grounds for detention order served to the former chief minister on February 06.
The document also does not have any comment on the formation of PDP as a political party. The grounds for detention is a document that is used by the detenue to challenge the detention order in the appropriate forum.
The officials said that though the police dossier had used such adjectives against Mufti, but the same were never used in the final PSA order and grounds for detention handed over to the former chief minister.
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh has apologised for using these terms in the police dossier.
The officials said that an inquiry was underway to ascertain how the document, which is classified, came into public domain.
According to the PSA order, “a number of incidents of last more than 10 years have been cited wherein the subject (Mehbooba Mufti) indulged in inciting violence thereby leading to disturbance in public order”.
The order said that Mufti has “a history of making provocative speeches and charged statements leading to incitement of violence on several occasions in her political career”.
The order said that the former chief minister has given “speeches glorifying militants” and created “fears among majority population based on divisive politics among the masses”.
Quoting from the reports received from police and other security agencies, the PSA order referred to her tweet on August 05 last year, the day the Centre announced withdrawal of special status of the erstwhile state and bifurcated it into union territories — Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir: “That abrogation of Article 370 hasn’t just made accession null and void and also reduces India to an occupation force in Jammu and Kashmir.”
In the PSA order, the district magistrate said that while every citizen has a right to protest, the statement made by her “clearly reflects that a divisive attempt was made thereby provoking the political cadre of a particular area or ideology for street protests and violence”.
The PSA order referred to other such statements and said “a political leader of such a standing is expected to behave in a manner which is not seen as an attempt to incite violence, disturb public order or create such division based on religion or identity which may lead to loss of life or property, as the case may be.”
It said that a political leader in “21st century so brazenly inciting religion to divide the people based on religion, that too in an area with sensitive security situation…is indeed a potential threat for maintenance of public order”.
Mufti’s older tweet from April 2019 — “every human even a militant deserves dignity after death. Armed forces use of chemicals in encounters disfiguring their bodies is inhuman. Imagine the emotions that’ll overcome a boy who sees his brother’s mutilated charred body. Would you be surprised if he picked up a gun?” — has also been listed as grounds for her detention.
Explaining the rationale, the PSA order said her statement, notwithstanding the fact that “no such evidence was found by a commission”, “reflects the deliberate attempts of the subject in causing disturbance to the public order”.
“A leader is expected to invoke spirit of inquiry before making such irresponsible statement aimed at provoking sentiments and inciting violence,” read the order.
It also alleged that Mufti has been “glorifying and justifying actions of anti-national elements …” and referred to her support for Jamaat-e-Islami of the state, which has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and explained that it is well within rights of citizen to criticise but making statement like “division in society on religious grounds is seen as another attempt to create disturbance ….”
The PSA order said that these grounds had made it “imperative” for continued detention of Mufti under the PSA.