Day After Release, Farooq Abdullah Meets Omar in Srinagar Sub-Jail
Farooq Abdullah, a 3-term chief minister of the erstwhile state of J&K, had been under detention since 5 August.
A day after the Jammu and Kashmir government issued an order revoking his detention, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah met his son Omar Abdullah in a sub-jail in Srinagar on Saturday, 14 March, PTI reported, quoting officials.
Farooq Abdullah drove from his residence to nearby Hari Nivas where his son, also a former chief minister, has been held first under preventive custody since 5 February under the PSA.
The 82-year-old leader had requested the Jammu and Kashmir authorities for permission to see his son for the first time in seven months and the same was granted, officials said, adding that the two were together for about an hour.
Farooq had been in detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA) since September 2019, following his initial detention under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
‘Have No Words, Today I Am Free’
Released after over seven months in custody, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister reportedly said, “I have no words, today I am free, I am free.”
“I'm grateful to people of the state and all leaders and people in the rest of the country who spoke for our freedom. This freedom will be complete when all leaders are released. I hope Government of India will take action to release everyone," ANI quoted the former CM as saying on Friday. He said he will not speak on any political matter till the time everyone was released.
Meanwhile, his daughter tweeted in celebration of his release.
The revocation order issued by the Home Department dated 13 March stated:
“In exercise of powers conferred under section 19(1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978, the Government hereby revokes the detention order… dated 15-09-2019 issued by District Magistrate, Srinagar, extended for a period of 03 months… and then extended for a further period of three months… of Dr Farooq Abdullah… with immediate effect.”
Farooq Visits Father's Grave, Offers Prayers
Shortly after being released on Friday, Farooq visited his father Sheikh Abdullah's grave, located on the banks of the Dal Lake at Hazratbal in Srinagar.
Accompanied by his wife Mollie, grandson Adeem and other members of the family, Abdullah offered prayers at the grave of his father.
Dressed in a black kurta, a traditional ‘Karakuli’ cap and dark sunglasses because of a recent eye surgery, Abdullah spent some time at the grave.
He could not offer prayers on his father's death anniversary on 5 December last year as he was in detention.
Detained Since 5 August
Farooq, a five-time Parliamentarian and a three-term chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, had been under detention since 5 August 2019, when the Centre abrogated special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.
The stringent PSA was first slapped against him on 15 September, hours before the Supreme Court was to hear a habeas corpus petition by MDMK leader Vaiko who claimed that the NC leader was detained illegally.
The National Conference chairman had been booked under the 'public order' provision of the PSA which allows that a person can be kept inside jail for at least three months and up to one year without a trial, officials cited by PTI had said.
Ghulam Nabi Azad Meets Farooq, Says All Detained Political Leaders Must Be Released
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad met Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar on Saturday, 14 March.
Speaking to the media in the presence of Farooq Abdullah, Azad said, “If Jammu and Kashmir has to progress, then all political leaders under detention in Srinagar must be released.”
Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, added that meeting the formerly detained Farooq was “a matter of great happiness” for him, “I met National Conference MP Farooq Abdullah after over seven months. He was detained for all these months. The reason for his detention is not yet known to me.”
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)
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