Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah was on Monday charged under the Public Safety Act, reported Associated Press. Under the PSA, a person can be detained for up to two years without a trial. Abdullah, who is a sitting member of Lok Sabha, was reported to have been detained a day before the BJP government presented a resolution to scrap Article 370 on August 5. Article 370 was a temporary provision in the Indian Constitution that provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
On August 5, the resolution was cleared in both the Houses of the Parliament. The Narendra Modi-led government also passed a bill to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into 2 Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The government had imposed a curfew across the region on August 4. A number of mainstream leaders – including former CMs Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – were detained and are being kept under house arrest. While presenting the bills in the Rajya Sabha, home minister Amit Shah had said that Farooq Abdullah hadn’t been detained but was not coming out of his house of his own free will.
On Monday, the Supreme Court sought a response from the government on a plea seeking the presence of Farooq Abdullah in the court. The plea was filed by Rajya Sabha MP and MDMK leader Vaiko. In his petition, Vaiko claimed that many leaders have been trying to contact Abdullah but haven’t been able to do so.
The Associated Press reported citing senior police official Muneer Khan that Farooq Abdullah, 81, was arrested Monday under the Public Safety Act at his residence in Srinagar, the summer capital of the disputed region. “A committee will decide how long the arrest will be,” the AP report cited Khan as saying.
The report further stated that Abdullah’s residence has been declared a subsidiary jail since August 5.