Srinagar: The Jammu & Kashmir administration Wednesday revoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) against IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal and two senior politicians from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP leaders are Sartaj Madni, who is also the uncle of former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, and Peer Mansoor, a former legislator.
“We are awaiting the order… as soon as it arrives, the three will be released,” a senior government official said in Srinagar.
While Faesal and Mansoor were lodged in Srinagar’s MLA hostel, which was converted into a sub-jail last year, Madni was held at a government guest house in Gupkar Road locality.
Good to hear @shahfaesal, Peer Mansoor & Sartaj Madani have been released from their unjust PSA detention. Disappointed that @MehboobaMufti, Sagar Sb & Hilal Lone continue to be detained. It’s high time they are set free as well.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) June 3, 2020
The trio were among several senior politicians detained by authorities in Jammu and Kashmir in the days before and after the Narendra Modi government scrapped Article 370 last year and bifurcated the state into two union territories.
Mansoor and Madni were held in the first week of August, prior to the scrapping of Article 370, while Faesal was taken into custody from the Delhi airport later, when he was about to leave India for Turkey.
‘Advanced separatist ideology’
Prior to his detention, Faesal had taken to Twitter to express his displeasure against the decision to revoke J&K’s special status.
“Kashmir will need a long, sustained, non-violent political mass movement for restoration of the political rights. Abolition of Article 370 has finished the mainstream. Constitutionalists are gone. So you can either be a stooge or a separatist now. No shades of grey,” Faesal had tweeted.
He was booked under PSA this February. The administration, in his PSA dossier, alleged that Faesal advanced the separatist ideology and challenged the decision of the central government to scrap the special status of J&K .
The former IAS officer quit the civil services and joined politics in 2018. The next year, he formed the Peoples Movement party, which entered into an alliance with the Awami Ittehad Party headed by Sheikh Abdul Rashid aka Engineer Rashid.
Rashid is, at the moment, lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail for his alleged role in a terror financing case.
Senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar, National Conference general secretary Ali Sagar and Hilal Lone, son of Baramulla MP Akbar Lone, continue to be held under the PSA. While Akhtar and Sagar are held at the Gupkar Road guest house, Lone has been kept at the MLA hostel in Srinagar.
Several other leaders, including former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti, PDP leader Waheed Para, and Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone remain in custody at their respective residences.