396 held under Public Safety Act in Kashmir
As many as 396 people have been detained in Kashmir under the Public Safety Act (PSA) since the scrapping of the erstwhile state’s special status on August 5 last year, the Union home ministry told Parliament on Wednesday.
These 396 people are among the 451 people in detention in the Valley, according to the ministry.
Junior home minister G. Kishan Reddy informed the Rajya Sabha that among those who have been booked under the PSA, a stringent law that allows for detention without trial for up to two years, are former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
Reddy said 7,357 people, including stone pelters, miscreants, overground workers and separatists, had been taken into preventive custody after August 5.
“The government of J&K has reported that in order to prevent commission of offences involving breach of peace and tranquility, activities prejudicial to the security of the state and maintenance of public order, cumulatively 7,357 persons including stone pelters, miscreants, overground workers, separatists, etc were taken into preventive custody since August 2019,” the minister said.
“Out of these 451 such persons are presently under prevention detention, which includes 396 persons under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA).”
Omar’s sister Sara Abdullah Pilot has moved the Supreme Court challenging the leader’s detention under the PSA as being “arbitrary”, “unconstitutional” and “actuated by malice”.
One of the charges cited to invoke the PSA against Omar and Mehbooba is their capacity to convince the “electorate to come out and vote in huge numbers even during the peak of militancy and poll boycotts”, sources in the home ministry said.