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‘Geo-Political Position’ Of J&K Cited As Reason For Continuation Of Mehbooba’s Detention

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In its reply to a writ petition filed by Iltija Mufti daughter of former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti seeking the latter’s release, the government has reportedly cited the “geo-political position of Jammu and Kashmir”, its geographical proximity with Pakistan, and Mehbooba’s “glorifying militant” statements for continuation of her detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA). Earlier, similar arguments were presented by the government to plead for the continuation of detention of Omar Abdullah as well, when Omar’s sister had filed a petition before ethe apex court seeking his release in February. “It looks like they have cut material from a counter affidavit they filed against Omar Abdullah and put it on the reply to our petition,” Iltija Mufti said.

The J&K government also argued that entertaining Mehbooba’s petition would open flood gates of other petitions, “which in absence of any special ground to make a departure, needs to be avoided.” The government has argued that it is the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority that the release of the detenu (Mehbooba) would pose an “eminent threat of deterioration of maintaining the public order,” in the UT of J&K. Uncannily similar wording was used by the government to challenge Omar Abdullah’s plea for release in February.

Last week Iltija Mufti had filed a fresh petition before the Supreme Court challenging her mother’s detention under PSA and subsequent extension of the PSA order. Mehbooba Mufti was arrested on August 5, 2019, the day the government revoked Article 370. She was booked under section 107 of CrPC. Six months later the former chief minister was booked under the PSA. The PSA dossier referred to Mehbooba as being a “daddy’s girl.” The dossier also equated her with Kota Rani, a medieval queen in Kashmir, who rose to power through dubious means such as poisoning her opponents. The dossier also makes comments on the marital status of Mehbooba Mufti, terming that it did not “last long.”


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