“I am free today.” That’s what former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah told the media after he was released from the preventive detention he was under for the past seven months.
A Lok Sabha MP, Abdullah was detained in August 2019 under the stringent Public Safety Act along with two other former chief ministers–his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. This was done immediately after the abrogation of Article 370.
Parliament’s last winter session had been rocked by protests seeking the release of the National Conference leader and his attendance in the House.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had then clarified that the decision to release political leaders was up to the authorities in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and that the Union government had no role whatsoever in deciding these matters.
Upon his release, Abdullah said that he was free now to attend the Parliamentary session and he would not comment on any political matters till all those detained are released.
He is now expected to visit Delhi to attend the ongoing Budget session of the Parliament.
A host of political leaders have been put under detention by the authorities ever since Article 370 of the Indian constitution, conferring special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir was abrogated and the former state was reorganized with the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir state (Reorganization) Act, 2019 in August.