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Mehbooba Mufti is now free

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Sajad Lone, Omar Abdullah, Tarigami welcome release

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was released late Tuesday night, after being detained for over a year following the scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories August last year.

Mufti’s release comes just as the deadline set by the Supreme Court was set to expire.

In September the court questioned the central government and the J&K administration over her detention, asking them: “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 long Ms Mufti can be kept in custody and whether her custody can be extended beyond one year.

Meanwhile, an order issued by Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department, said: “… the Gvovernment hereby revokes the detention order bearing No. DMS/PSA/147/2020 dated 05-02-2020 issued by the District Magistrate, Srinagar, which was last extended for a period of three months vide Government Order No. Home/PB-V/1449 of 2020 dated 31-07-2020 of Ms. Mehbooba Mufti D/o Late Mufti Mohd Sayed R/o Bijbehara A/P Nowgam, Srinagar with immediate effect.”

Earlier, J&K government spokesman Rohit Kansal tweeted, “Mehbooba Mufti being released.” He, however, didn’t elaborate further.

Mehbooba Mufti was arrested on August 5 last year, the day the Central government abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and downgraded the state into two Union Territories.

While Mufti was lodged under preventive detention for six months, she was booked under PSA in February this year which was extended later.

Reacting to the report, Peoples Conference President Sajad Lone tweeted: “@MehboobaMufti has apparently been released. Great News. She has been through a very tough time. Wishing her all the best.”

National Conference Vice President, Omar Abdullah tweeted: “I am pleased to hear that @MehboobaMufti Sahiba has been released after more than a year in detention. He continued detention was travesty & was against the basic tenets of democracy. Welcome our Mehbooba.”

Meanwhile, CPI(M) leader and former MLA Kulgam, M Y Tarigami too welcomed Mehbooba Mufti’s release.

Tarigami tweeted: “Glad to hear that @MehboobaMufti  has finally been released from the unlawful detention. We urge the authorities to release other people who continue to be under detention since 04 Aug 2019 under draconian laws like PSA, UAPA and sedition”.

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