Mehbooba Mufti, kept in detention for 14 months, released
Srinagar/IBNS: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who had been under detention since August 2019 when the Centre scrapped Article 370 in the Valley, was released on late Tuesday night.
Mufti was charged under the Public Safety Act (PSA) - a stringent law that allows for detention and multiple extensions without trial for up to three months - in February.
Announcing her release, Rohit Kansal, J&K Principal Secretary tweeted: "Ms Mehbooba Mufti being released."
The release comes as a deadline, set by the Supreme Court after Mehbooba Mufti's daughter Iltija moved the apex court with a habeas corpus petition challenging her "illegal" detention, was set to expire.
On Sept 29, the top court had questioned the central and J&K governments, asking: "How long can Mehbooba Mufti be kept in custody?"
The J&K administration was then given a time of two weeks, till Oct 14, to explain how long they intended to do so.
Mufti, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader, was kept in detention since Aug 5, 2019 when the central government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of special status by abrogating Articles 370 and 35A.
Later Mufti was kept in detention under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).
In July, her detention under PSA was extended for three months.
Minutes after her release her daughter, Iltija Mufti, who took to her mother's Twitter account and tweeted: "As Ms Mufti's illegal detention finally comes to an end, I'd like to thank everybody who supported me in these tough times. I owe a debt of gratitude to you all. This is Iltija signing off. May Allah protect you."
As Ms Mufti’s illegal detention finally comes to an end, Id like to thank everybody who supported me in these tough times. I owe a debt of gratitude to you all. This is Iltija signing off. فی امان اﷲ May allah protect you— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) October 13, 2020
After being released, Mufti herself also left a message where she said that people of Jammu and Kashmir will never forget the illegal decision that was taken on Aug 5, 2019 and "it's time to get back the rights snatched aways by the Centre wrongly."
After being released from fourteen long months of illegal detention, a small message for my people. pic.twitter.com/gIfrf82Thw— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) October 13, 2020
Reacting to the news, former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: "I’m pleased to hear that @MehboobaMufti Sahiba has been released after more than a year in detention. Her continued detention was a travesty & was against the basic tenets of democracy. Welcome out Mehbooba."
I’m pleased to hear that @MehboobaMufti Sahiba has been released after more than a year in detention. Her continued detention was a travesty & was against the basic tenets of democracy. Welcome out Mehbooba.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 13, 2020
Abdullah and his father Farooq Abdullah were also detained at that time along with several other politicians.
The Abdullahs, also charged under the draconian PSA, were released in March, within days of each other.