Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory administration Saturday booked former IAS officer and Chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM), Dr Shah Faesal under stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) six months after his detention on August 14 last year.
Faesal among eight politicians including three former Chief Ministers, Dr Farooq Abdullah his son Omar Abdullah and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti were booked under PSA post abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two UT’s on August 5 last year.
PSA was also invoked against NC’s senior leader and former MLA Khanyar, Ali Mohammad Sagar, PDP leader and former Minister, Nayeem Akhtar, Sartaj Madni and Hilal Akbar Lone.
Pertinently JKPM chief was detained at Delhi airport on August 14 last year and brought back to Srinagar where he was kept under preventive custody next day under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Dr Shah Faesal was slapped with PSA which allows authorities to detain a person for up to two years without a trial six months after his detention under section 107 of CrPC. He was earlier detained at Centaur sub-jail and later shifted to MLA hostel at Maulana Azad Road.
The PSA, which came handy for police force to book separatists and militant sympathizers, has two sections ‘public order’ and ‘threat to security of the state’. The former allows detention without trial for six months and the latter for two years
37-year old Faesal, an MBBS degree holder from north Kashmir topped the prestigious examination in his maiden attempt in 2010 and later served as Deputy Commissioner (Bandipora), Assistant Commissioner (Pulwama) and Director School Education, Kashmir before resigning from prestigious IAS service and floating his own political party.
Using the PSA against Farooq Abdullah was the first instance of the law being used against a mainstream politician, especially an MP and a three-time Chief Minister. Usually, it has been used to arrest terrorists, separatists or stone-throwers.
Formally called the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, the law was introduced by Farooq Abdullah’s father, former Chief Minister Sheikh Abdullah, to target timber smugglers.
The PSA, often described as a “draconian law”, empowers the government to detain individuals whose actions can be seen as “instigating, provoking or disturbing, or is likely to disturb, public order”. It also allows the government to detain individuals “outside the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of the officer making the order”.