The J&K administration on 13 March 2020 released National Conference (NC) president and Member of Parliament, Srinagar, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, who was in detention over seven months. He was detained immediately after the Centre revoked J&K's special status on August 5 last year. The J&K government has issued orders revoking detention of Dr. Farooq Abdullah. Principal Secretary, Home, Shaleen Kabra, in an order, said the detention of Dr. Abdullah under the Public Safety Act (PSA), issued on September 15, has been withdrawn, ending his detention immediately.

 

What

  1. Dr. Abdullah, 82, remained under house arrest after the government booked him under the stringent PSA and lodged him in his own house on Gupkar Road, which was designated as a sub-jail. The J&K's home department had in December extended his detention by another three months.
  2. Dr. Abdullah's release is the first of the three detained former chief ministers of the erstwhile State. NC vice president Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti continue to remain in detention.
  3. Dr. Abdullah was arrested in the wake of Centre’s decision to scrap J&K’s semi-autonomous status on August 5 last year.
  4. Welcoming Dr. Abdullah's release from detention, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted "Welcome the belated release of Dr Farooq Abdullah...his detention was a disgrace."
  5. Peoples Conference leader Imran Ansari too welcomed the government's decision. He demanded the release of party leader Sajad Lone and party workers. 

What is the PSA?

  1. The Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 is a preventive detention law, under which a person is taken into custody to prevent him or her from acting in any manner that is prejudicial to “the security of the state or the maintenance of public order”. 
  2. It is very similar to the National Security Act that is used by other state governments for preventive detention.
  3. By definition, preventive detention is meant to be preventive, not punitive. 
  4. This broad definition is the most common ground used by a law-enforcement agency when it slaps the PSA on an individual. 
  5. It comes into force by an administrative order passed either by Divisional Commissioner or the District Magistrate, or not by a detention order by police based on specific allegations or for specific violation of laws.