P Chidambaram’s reaction over Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti being booked over PSA

Former Central MP P Chidambaram gave his shocked reaction over government’s decision on to keep Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti under detention. P Chidambaram says he is “shocked and devastated” by the government’s decision to keep Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, both former CMs of Jammu and Kashmir state, now bifurcated under detention using the Public Safety Act (PSA).

The PSA is a 1978 Jammu and Kashmir law, often described as a draconian measure, that allows authorities to detain a person for up to two years without a trial.

Omar Abdullah, 49, and Mehbooba Mufti, 60, were being held under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. They have been in detention since government of India scrapped article 370 and special status of Jammu and Kashmir last year, in August. That was scheduled to end last night, but it was not to be. They were booked under the PSA.

“Detention without charges is the worst abomination in a democracy,” P Chidambaram tweeted Friday. “When unjust laws are passed or unjust laws are invoked, what option do the people have than to protest peacefully?” Chidambaram called for “peaceful resistance and civil disobedience”.

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The BJP, on its part, said it opposed the prolonged detention of any individual, but wouldn’t hesitate to support it “if it contributes to peace and restoring normalcy”.

Omar Abdullah’s father, Farooq Abdullah (another ex-CM), has been in detention under the PSA for months. He is 82. On Thursday, three others besides Omar and Mehbooba Mufti were booked under the law.

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