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New Delhi/Srinagar, October 13, 2020
Former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister and head of People's Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti has been released from preventive detention by the Jammu and Kashmir government today after over 14 months.
The state government revoked her detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA) under which she was detained for more than a year.
The Home Department of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Secretariat in its letter, accessed exclusively by IANS, said that it had revoked the detention with immediate effect "in exercise of powers conferred under Section 19 (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act 1978".
Dozens of politicians of PDP, National Conference (NC) and other political parties of Kashmir were detained by the Central government when it reorganised the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh -- on August 5 last year.
The reorganisation led to the revocation of Article 370 which earlier granted special status to J&K in the Indian Constitution. The politicians had been detained in view of their alleged "provocative and inflammatory statements and threats of resorting to violence if Article 370 was abrogated".
Soon after the government issued the order revoking the PSA on Tuesday, J&K PDP tweeted that Mehbooba Mufti would be addressing a press conference on October 16.
Former Chief Minister and Mehbooba's opponent Omar Abdullah welcomed her release from detention, tweeting, "I am pleased to hear that Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba has been released after more than a year in detention. Her continued detention was a travesty and was against the basic tenets of democracy. Welcome out Mehbooba."
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah was released after nearly eight months in March this year. His father and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah was released just two weeks before him.