From inciting locals to violating freedom of speech: Why PSA for Farooq Abdullah is needed
New Delhi, Sep 18: The decision to change from preventive detention to Public Safety Act (PSA) was taken on Sunday while detaining former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Farooq Abdullah.
While the decision has come in for criticism by the opposition parties, sources tell OneIndia that it was absolutely necessary in the interest of law and order. While under preventive detention, he was meeting people and advising them on the next course of action.
The administration had initially allowed him to meet with locals and it was found that he was trying to incite some of them, the source also added. This is when it was decided to slap the provisions of the PSA on him, the official also said.
Further, the government was getting several reports that if PSA was not slapped it would create problems in Jammu and Kashmir. The idea was also to send a message across to the others that the government wants peace in the Valley and none shall disrupt it. The officer added that the government does not want a situation where it would want to use force.
Abdullah has also been accused of misusing political position and asking the new generation to pick up arms and propagate secessionist ideology. The government has made 27 charges against the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir while detaining him under the PSA. He has also been accused of violating freedom of speech by inciting violence. Further, an incident at Hazratbal held last December, Abdullah had said the efforts of the separatists will not go waste. In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, he had said that it was the Indian government and not the terrorists who had done it.
The government has also cited his speech in a political rally in which he said that the people should be ready for a mass struggle after the elections to seek freedom from India.
Farooq Abdullah who was detained under the Public Safety Act has been confined to a single room of his home at the Gupkar Road in Srinagar. His detention under the PSA was approved by the Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.
His residence was designated as a subsidiary jail and Abdullah is being provided with all rights of a prisoner. Officials tell OneIndia that he has been confined to a single room. The rest of the rooms have been sealed. His meetings with outsiders is restricted and only those with a legal order will be permitted.
Sources say that Abdullah's preventive detention was converted into PSA on Sunday. Prior to this, he was under preventive detention as per the procedure laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Abdullah is the second politician in J&K to be detained under the PSA after the abrogation of Article 370. Prior to this bureaucrat turned politician, Shah Feasal was also detained under the PSA. He had been detained last month at the Delhi airport last month, while attempting to leave for Turkey. He was sent back to Kashmir and detained under the PSA.
The PSA allows for detention up to two years in the case of persons acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State, and for administrative detention up to one year where any person is acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre on a habeas corpus petition filed by MDMK leader, Vaiko who sought for the production of Abdullah. The Centre was granted time until September 30 to file its response.
Rajya Sabha MP and MDMK founder Vaiko had moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir to produce former state Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, allegedly under detention following the abrogation of Article 370, before the court.
In his plea, Vaiko has said that authorities should allow Abdullah to attend a "peaceful and democratic" annual conference, being organised in Chennai on September 15, on the occasion of the birthday of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister C N Annadurai.
Vaiko, who said he is a close friend of Abdullah for past four decades, contended that constitutional rights conferred on the National Conference (NC) leader "have been deprived of on account of illegal detention without any authority of law".