Crime & Justice

Former chief minister of Indian Kashmir freed after 14 months

Srinagar, India, Oct 13 (efe-epa).- The government in India-administered Kashmir revoked a detention order for the region’s former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday after more than a year.The government issued an order revoking her detention “with immediate effect”.She had been detained since August last year under a public safety act order that was last extended in July this year.

A tweet from her official account said: “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.”Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, tweeted: “I’m 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.”

Mehbooba, the first woman ruler of the disputed region, was among scores of mainstream politicians arrested soon after or just before the region was stripped of its special constitutional position on 5 August last year.Almost all the other leaders have been released and Mehbooba was the only pro-India politician detained under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA), the same stringent law she and her predecessors frequently used against separatists during their tenures.Almost all the pro-India political parties, including Mehbooba’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have vowed to “struggle unanimously” for the special status of the erstwhile state which was bifurcated into two territories to be governed by New Delhi directly by means of a piece of legislation called the Jammu and Kashmir Re-organisational Act 2020 by the right-wing Hindu government led by Narendra Modi.Fearing protests in the region, authorities arrested thousands of people including politicians from both mainstream and separatist camps in August last year.

They also imposed a communication blockade for months at a time and 4G internet services are still not allowed in the region.

The Himalayan region was divided between Indian and Pakistan in 1947 by means of the Line of Control, the most heavily militarised de-facto border. EFE-EPA

sa/rb

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