The two former chief ministers have been under preventive detention since August 5 last year
OMAR Abdullah’s ability to “convince his electorate to vote in huge numbers” and Mehbooba Mufti being “referred (to) as ‘Daddy’s girl’ and ‘Kota Rani’” for “her dangerous and insidious machinations and usurping profile and nature” are among the reasons cited by the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) administration for invoking the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) against the two former chief ministers.
The PSA dossier prepared by the police on National Conference leader Omar Abdullah says that “the capacity of the subject to influence people for any cause can be gauged from the fact that he was able to convince his electorate to come out and vote in huge numbers even during the peak of militancy and poll boycotts”.
While hailing the Centre’s decision to revoke J&K’s special status under Article 370 as a “historic decision”, the dossier has accused Abdullah of trying to stoke public anger to trigger violent protests.
“Despite the fact that the subject has been a mainstream politician, he has been planning his activities against the Union of India under the guise of politics. And while enjoying the support of gullible masses, he has been successful in execution of such activities,” it says. “After revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A, in order to secure support of common people, the subject removed all covers/ curtains and while resorting to his dirty politics has adopted a radical methodology by way of instigating general masses against the policies of central government”.
The PSA dossier on PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti, who headed the PDP-BJP coalition government in the state before the two parties parted ways in June 2018, says: “(The) subject is recognised as hot-headed and scheming person, known for dangerous and insidious machinations.... She has been promoting separatism as corroborated by several confidential reports filed by (intelligence) agencies... The subject is referred, for her dangerous and insidious machinations and usurping profile and nature, by the masses as ‘Daddy’s girl’ and ‘Kota Rani’, based on the profile of a medieval queen of Kashmir, who rose to power by virtue of undertaking intrigues ranging from poisoning of her opponents to ponyardings (sic).”
While terming the creation of PDP as dubious, the dossier says the “green colour of the party flag reflects (its) radical origin”. It claims that the PDP’s symbol (inkpot and pen) has “been taken from Muslim United Front” — an alliance of several parties including the Jamat-e-Islami which contested the 1987 elections against the NC-Congress alliance.
It also lists Mufti’s refusal to sign a bond, stating that she will not talk about the scrapping of Article 370, as among the reasons for invoking PSA against her. Quoting her tweets on triple talaq, lynchings and the curbs on civilian movement in February last year to allow unhindered movement of security convoys in the Valley, it says she has been issuing “provocative statements that led to incitement of violence” and accuses her of invoking religion to create a divide.
The two former chief ministers have been under preventive detention since August 5 last year, when the Centre announced abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories — Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
They were booked under the PSA on the night of February 6. Sources said the government took the decision since it was becoming “legally untenable” to keep them under preventive detention for longer.
The reasons cited in the police dossier are also reflected in the grounds of detention listed by District Magistrate (Srinagar) Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.
Omar’s father, Farooq Abdullah, former chief minister and currently a member of Lok Sabha, was booked under the PSA in September last year.
The PSA allows the administration to detain a person without trial for three to six months. It was promulgated in 1978 by a government led by Farooq Abdullah’s father and then Chief Minister Sheikh Abdullah as an administrative measure aimed at keeping timber smugglers “out of circulation”.
However, it has been misused by the successive governments against political opponents and to stifle dissent.