Srinagar, Mar 13: Asserting that his freedom is incomplete until all detainees were released, former chief minister and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Friday said now he can attend Parliament and speak for the people of J&K.
The former chief minister made these remarks on Friday after being released from detention. Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday revoked detention of Dr Abdullah after over seven months. The revocation of detention of the former chief minister comes just two days after Public Safety Act (PSA), which was slapped on him in September last year, was extended for another three months on March 11.
“Today I don't have words. I am free today. Now, I will be able to go to Delhi and attend Parliament and speak for you all,” he told reporters here on Friday. Thanking the people who sought his release, Dr Abdullah said he is grateful to all those who called for my freedom. However, he said this freedom is not complete until all those detained are released. “I will hold my political comments until then,” he added.
The revocation holds significance as it comes days after Opposition demanded the immediate release of all political detainees in Jammu and Kashmir, especially three former chief ministers. “In exercise of powers conferred under Section 19(1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978, the government hereby revokes the detention order bearing No DMS/PSA/120/2019 issued by District Magistrate, Srinagar,” a statement issued by the newly created UT administration of J&K said. Dr Abdullah and two other former chief ministers – Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – besides dozens of other former ministers and legislators were detained on August 5, when centre abrogated Article 370 and Article 35 A, besides bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.
However, the NC president was booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) on September 15, 2019 when MDMK chief Vaikoo approached the Supreme Court (SC), seeking directions to the government to allow Dr Abdullah to attend a peaceful and democratic annual conference in Chennai. The Gupkar residence of Dr Abdullah was turned into a jail for him and large number of security force personnel was remained deployed there. Detention of Dr Abdullah, first under house arrest, and later under PSA evoked sharp reaction from different national and regional political parties. The detention of Dr Abdullah, who is a former Union Minister, under PSA was extended for three months in December which was again extended on March 11. (UNI)