Show compassion, release Mufti and other political prisoners in the wake of Coronavirus: Omar Abdullah
Moments after his release, Omar Abdullah has asked the administration to “show compassion” and release all political prisoners who were detained in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370. He also demanded the restoration of 3G and 4G internet in the erstwhile state so that Kashmiris can access information to save themselves from the global pandemic - Coronavirus.
Soon after being released from detention, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has put forward two demands. Abdullah urged the Jammu and Kashmir administration to release all political prisoners - including former CM Mehbooba Mufti - who were arrested after the abrogation of Article 370. He has demanded the restoration of 3G and 4G internet in the erstwhile state. Abdullah argued that the administration should show compassion in these critical times, and, considering the Coronavirus outbreak, should agree to the two demands.
The National Conference leader was released today after eight months of detention. The J&K administration had imposed the stringent J&K Public Safety Act (PSA) on Abdullah and Mufti in February to extend their detentions.
His father, former CM Farooq Abdullah, was also charged under the PSA. He was released on March 13 after 221 days in detention. Peoples’ Democratic Party leader and former CM Mehbooba Mufti continues to be under detention.
Omar Abdullah, addressing the media, said that he wanted to speak about the suffering of Kashmiris ever since the abrogation of Article 370 but he does realise the “big battle that we are fighting against Coronavirus.” He said the need of the hour is to take care of ourselves and our families.
Abdullah, demanding the release of political prisoners, said, “The political prisoners who have been arrested in Kashmir and in the rest of the country should be released immediately in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. The administration should show mercy and let them return to their homes.”
He further added, “I appeal for the release of Mehbooba Mufti, National Conference and PDP leaders and all other political prisoners. They have been under detention since August (2019). At least release them in these critical times.”
Abdullah said that the administration should remove the communication blockade and restore the 3G and 4G internet so that Kashmiris can get access to information to save themselves from the Coronavirus outbreak.
Will speak about Article 370 and sufferings of Kashmir after the Coronavirus crisis is over
The former J&K CM said that he will talk about the abrogation of Article 370, bifurcation of the state, and the sufferings of Kashmiris once the country overcomes the global pandemic.
On Tuesday, the administration had also revoked the PSA charges against him. The order revoking the PSA was issued by Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra. The government has revoked his detention with “immediate effect”, the order stated.
Abdullah was kept at the state guesthouse Hari Nivas, just a few hundred metres from his official residence. His mother was the first to meet him at the makeshift detention centre after news of his release surfaced.
The three J&K chief ministers were placed under detention since August 5, 2019, when the Narendra Modi government announced the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and its bifurcation into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Abdullah’s sister, Sara Abdullah Pilot had challenged his further detention under the PSA in the Supreme Court. Last week, the apex court had asked the Centre and the J&K administration to inform whether they were mulling on releasing him.