SRINAGAR—The Union Government has booked former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti under Public Safety Act (PSA), a draconian law that is generally invoked against Hurriyat leaders, rights activists and protesters.
Under PSA, the two leaders, under detention since August 4 last year, can be in jailed without trial for up to two years.
Already, National Conference MP Farooq Abdullah, the father of Omar, is in detention at his home under PSA enforced on him since September last on the ground he was responsible for disturbing peace. Media reports said the authorities may invoke PSA against bureaucrat-turned politician Shah Faesal too, who is also under detention since August.
PSA is a law that has been slammed by human rights groups for being draconian. It was brought in by Sheikh Abdullah, the grandfather of Omar Abdullah in 1978 to detain timber smugglers but has been used against pro-independence political activists by successive governments including those led by Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti in erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state.
Thousands of politicians, activists and civil society members were detained in August in a stringent crackdown when the Indian government ended the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, through abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and split the state into two Union Territories.