It has been at least 30 days since the Modi-led government abrogated Article 370, which led to the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories. Now reports have surfaced saying that since August 5, at least 290 people have been booked under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA).
According to Indian Express, out of 290, 250 have been booked under this law in the Valley and 40 in Jammu. More than 100 of these detainees are being held outside the state. Meanwhile, of the unspecified number of detainees in the state since August 5, along with those booked under PSA, Section 107 (abetment) and Section 151 (joining assembly to disturb public peace) of the Ranbir Penal Code, approximately 350 are from Srinagar; 140 are from Shopian, including 22 under PSA; 270 from Pulwama, including approximately 40 under PSA.
The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act was passed in 1978, ostensibly to curb timber smuggling in the state. Typically, those detained under the law are taken to distant jails, far away from their homes or families, who are kept in the dark about their location. PSA allows the government to detain a person without trial for a period of three to six months.
In Srinagar’s Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre, designated a subsidiary jail since August 5, about 32 political detainees from across political parties are being held. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is being held at Hari Niwas at Gupkar while PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti in a hut in the Chashme Shahi area, both designated subsidiary jails, reported Indian Express. People’s Conference leader Imran Reza Ansari was moved from SKICC on Tuesday to be detained at his house following health concerns, senior officials told The Indian Express.