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Sikh leader detained under PSA for provocative speeches

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Jammu, A Sikh leader was on Tuesday detained under the harsh Public Safety Act (PSA) in Rajouri district for making provocative speeches.

The police confirmed that Devinder Singh Behl, an advocate by profession, was detained in Nowshera town of Rajouri district under the PSA for making provocative speeches.

Behl had recently asked people to march to Mirpur Kotli in Pakistan-administered Kashmir as part of their ongoing agitation for grant of district status to Nowshera.

The agitation seeking district status for Nowshera entered its 47th day on Tuesday, with businesses, public transport and educational institutions remaining closed in the area.

Behl has been detained under the PSA for challenging the integrity of the country, the police added.

PSA is a harsh law applicable in J&K, under which a person can be detained for a period of two years without any judicial order.

Initially brought into existence in the late 1970s, the act was enacted to deal with timber smugglers whose activities threatened forests in the state.

Over the years, this law has been used against separatist politicians and militants.

The invoking of this law has been widely criticised by rights groups including Amnesty International that has called PSA a “draconian law”.

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