Mehbooba Mufti: India frees top Kashmir politician after 14 months

New Delhi : Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was released late Tuesday night after being detained by the government for nearly 14 months – since it scrapped Article 370 in August – and since being charged under the Public Safety Act (PSA) – a stringent law that allows detention and multiple extensions without trial for up to three months – in February.

“Ms Mehbooba Mufti being released,” Rohit Kansal, J&K Principal Secretary, tweeted at 9.17 pm.

In an audio message tweeted late Tuesday night from her official Twitter handle, Mehbooba Mufti is heard saying: “Today, I have been released after more than a year. All this while, the black day – August 5, 2019 – continued to assault my soul. I believe, all people in Jammu and Kashmir would be feeling the same way. None of us can forget the insult we were made to face that day.”

“Now, we all have to remember… what Delhi Durbar took from us with an illegal, undemocratic decision on August 5, we have to take it back. Thousands have lost lives because of (the) Kashmir issue… we have to continue the struggle for now. I agree, this won’t be easy on any of us. However, I am confident that our courage will help us sail through. I appeal that all the people who have been locked up in prisons should be released at the earliest,” she added.

The release comes just as a deadline set by the Supreme Court, which had been approached by her daughter Iltija Mufti with a habeas corpus petition challenging her “illegal” detention, was set to expire.

On September 29 the court had questioned the central and J&K governments, asking: “How long can Mehbooba Mufti be kept in custody?” The J&K administration was given two weeks – till October 14 – to explain how long they intended to do so.

Ms Mufti’s PSA detention, which was announced on the last day of her six-month detention without charges, had been extended by another three months in July.

Minutes after her release her daughter, Iltija Mufti, who took over her mother’s Twitter account after she was detained, tweeted: “As Ms Mufti’s illegal detention finally comes to an end, I’d like to thank everybody who supported me in these tough times. I owe a debt of gratitude to you all. This is Iltija signing off. May Allah protect you”.

News Source : NDTV

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