Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah
Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah

Srinagar: The Minstry of Home Affairs has invoked the Public Safety Act and slapped its provisions on two former chief ministers of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir - Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah; the draconian PSA allows detention without trial for up to two years.

This is the first instance of the PSA being invoked against a mainstream politician, who happens to be an MP and a three-time Chief Minister. Usually, it has been invoked to arrest terrorists, separatists or stone-throwers.

Incidentally, both leaders are already under detention for the last six months since the abrogation of Article 370. Omar, 49, and Mehbooba, 60, have been detained since August 5, when the Modi government announced the abrogation of Article 370 scrapping Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories.

A senior police officer told NDTV that a District Magistrate has signed the detention warrants against Abdullah and Mufti. Under the charges brought specifically against the two leaders, they can be jailed for three months without trial.

Omar Abdullah's father, Farooq Abdullah, was charged under the same law last September and has been under house arrest since August as well. The 83-year-old politician was charged with "disturbing public order" under the law, which means shorter detention of three months.

Local sources were cited as saying by a media portal that while "most of the political leaders were released after they signed a bond not to indulge in political activity, at least 10 leaders are still in detention."

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