Mehbooba troubled.

Mehbooba troubled.

Mehbooba Mufti’s detention extended by three months; Sajjad Lone freed

Am still under house arrest; govt lying: Saifuddin Soz

Agency Report | Srinagar | 31 July, 2020 | 11:20 PM

The Jammu and Kashmir government extends the detention of former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for another three months.

An order issued by Principal Secretary, Home, Shaleen Kabra, said that in order to prevent her from acting in any manner prejudicial to maintenance of public order, the government directs that the period of detention of Mehbooba Mufti under the PSA be extended for a further period of three months and she may be lodged in subsidiary jail, Fairview, on Gupkar Road here.

Fairview, which was Mehbooba Mufti’s official residence as the Chief Minister, has been declared as a subsidiary jail and she has been lodged there.

The extension in her detention period comes on a day the authorities lifted house arrest restrictions on Peoples Conference leader and former minister, Sajad Gani Lone.

Mehbooba Mufti, the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, was arrested along with two other Chief Ministers, Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah on August 5, 2019 when the Constitution’s Articles 370 and 35A were abrogated and the state bifurcated and downgraded into two Union Territories.

Both the Abdullahs have since been released.
Former Union minister and Congress leader Saifuddin Soz claimed that he is still under home detention even as the Jammu & Kashmir government said that Soz is a free man and is not under any sort of detention.

In a statement, Soz said he went to see his ailing sister at Gulbarg Colony, Hyderpora, Srinagar on Friday. He said since the police would not allow him to travel without its vehicle, two Personal Security Officers (PSOs) accompanied him.

“When I returned home, the police produced and released a video showing that I was a free man. This version of the police is nothing more than a white lie,” he said. “Meanwhile, I tried to go out of my premises at 12.35 pm today to see my daughter in the neighbourhood but the police did not allow me to go out.”

On Thursday, government spokesperson Rohit Kansal in a tweet said that Soz is not under arrest or detention.

Soz however said that he wanted to confirm that he was under ‘house-arrest’ and cannot go out.

“The government version that I am a free man is wrong. I do not know why the government has resorted to such underhand means,” he said. “I have not violated any law of the land, yet I am under detention.”

“My detention shows how civil liberties stand suppressed in Kashmir,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone was released from home detention in Srinagar on Friday, sources said.

Lone was among the 50-odd mainstream leaders arrested at the time of abrogation of Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution on August 5 last year, including three former Chief Ministers.

“Finally five days short of a year, I have been officially informed that I am a free man. So much has changed. So have I. Jail was not a new experience. Earlier ones were harsh with usual doses of physical torture. But this was psychologically draining. Much to share hopefully soon,” the Kashmiri politician tweeted.

His party too tweeted: “J&K Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone has been officially released after completing 360 days in detention.”

Lone, a former MLA from Handwara, was initially detained at the SKICC in Srinagar before he was moved to the MLAs hostel along with other arrested leaders, and was eventually detained at his home. (IANS)