New Delhi: People’s Democratic Party president and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti is being released after being in preventive detention for more than 14 months following the dilution of Article 370 last year.
“Ms. Mehbooba Mufti being released,” JK government spokesman Rohit Kansal tweeted.
After being released on Tuesday, Mehbooba tweeted a short audio message to her supporters.
After being released from fourteen long months of illegal detention, a small message for my people. pic.twitter.com/gIfrf82Thw
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) October 13, 2020
“Now, all of us have to reiterate, we will have to take back what New Delhi snatched from us illegally, undemocratically and unconstitutionally. In addition to this we will have to continue our struggle for the resolution of Kashmir issue for which thousands of people sacrifices their lives. I agree that this path would not be easy but I have belief that our courage and our determination will help us to cross this road,” she said.
“All this time, the black decision of the black day of August 5, 2019 wounded my soul. And I understand the situation would have been similar for all people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Mehbooba, who became the first woman chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2016 as head of the PDP-BJP alliance, was arrested along with other leaders hours ahead of the Centre bifurcating the state into two union territories and reading down Article 370.
She was first detained under Sections 107 and 151 of CrPC but later booked under the controversial Public Safety Act.
Initially, Mehbooba was lodged at Cheshma Shahi guest house and then shifted to another government guest house at MA Link Road in Srinagar.
The PDP president was then taken to her residence where she remained under house arrest.
Mehbooba’s daughter, Iltija, had challenged her detention in the Supreme Court, which last heard the case on September 29. The Supreme Court had then asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to respond to Iltija’s plea, saying that a detention cannot be forever and “some via media” should be explored.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers and National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah were released in March after over seven months in detention.
(With PTI inputs)