Press Trust of india

Political leaders welcome revocation of PSA against Farooq Abdullah

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New Delhi:  Political leaders on Friday welcomed the revocation of the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) imposed on National Conference patron and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah.

While Abdullah’s party, the National Conference (NC), termed his release a “step in the right direction towards restoring genuine political process in Jammu and Kashmir”, former Union minister and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said he welcomed Abdullah’s “belated release”.

“…I hope he will soon resume his rightful place on the front bench of the Lok Sabha, where he can address with his usual compelling vigour the issues facing his state and the state of the nation. His detention was a disgrace,” Tharoor said in a tweet.

Iltija Mufti, daughter of incarcerated PDP president and former J and K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti demanded the release of all those detained following revocation of the special status of the erstwhile state under Article 370 of the Constitution.

“Time to release all detainees including thousands of young men languishing in jails outside J&K. This has gone on for far too long & must end now,” Iltija tweeted.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday hit out at the Modi government for keeping former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah under detention for seven months, alleging that “despotism and arbitrariness” constitute the rule of law in the Union Territory.

Chidambaram’s attack on the government came after Abdullah was released following the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s revoking of the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) against the former chief minister.

“Dr Farooq Abdullah, welcome to freedom. What was the justification to keep him in detention without charges for 7 months? If there was justification (there was none), what is the reason for releasing him today?” Chidambaram said.

“Despotism and arbitrariness constitute the Rule of Law in J&K. And this virus is spreading to many states in India,” the former home minister said.

Senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said Abdullah’s release was long overdue. “The imposition of PSA on and detention of Dr Farooq Abdullah was illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional. We have all been concerned about his health and well being. His release was long overdue”.

The CPI(M) in Jammu and Kashmir described Abdullah’s release as a “step to correct one wrong among many wrongs”.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee said she prayed for the long life of Abdullah and hoped that the other two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — will soon be released and “allowed to join the democratic process immediately.”

Another senior Congress leader Saral Patel said Abdullah should have been released a long time back.

“…but nonetheless, better late than never, hoping that Omar too will be released soon. Democracy is about having dialogues, not about locking up people unilaterally just because they don’t agree with you,” Patel tweeted.

People’s Conference also welcomed the release of the Lok Sabha member from Srinagar.

“We welcome the release of Dr Farroq Abdullah. And I take this opportunity to demand the release of our Chairman Mr Sajad Lone. He is under strict house arrest after being in detention at MLA hostel for six months. We also demand release of our workers who r detained under PSA,” general secretary of PC and former minister Imran Reza Ansari said in a tweet.

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