3400 detained under Public Safety Act in 7 districts

It’s Partial Information, Actual Figure Around 20000: CCS

UMER MAQBOOL

Srinagar, June 21: What could give an idea about the arbitrary use of Public Safety Act (PSA) in Jammu and Kashmir, partial information gathered from seven districts of the Valley including three newly carved out districts reveals that 3400 persons were booked under the controversial law during the past two decades.
The information was furnished by the state government in response to an application filed under Right to Information Act by Khurram Parvez of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society.
As per the official information, 1886 persons were booked in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district since 1989 under the PSA - which earlier allowed two year and one year detention without any trial.
Pertinent to mention here that PSA was amended recently by the State Government reducing the period of detention to six and three months.
In South Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) district 1066 persons have served detention under the Act. However, the information about Islamabad (Anantnag) excludes the period between 1989-1993 and 2000-2003.  While in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, which is considered high conflict hit district, government has given partial information about the arrests under the Act. Around 239 persons have been put behind the bars in Baramulla since 2009 under PSA.
More than 200 persons have been booked in newly carved districts of Shopian, Kulgam, Ganderbal and Bandipora districts. Since 2007, 87 PSA detentions have taken place in Shopian, 74 in Kulgam and 41 in Bandipora.
Around 23 persons have been detained under PSA in Ganderbal district comprising of two assembly segments. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah represents Ganderbal constituency in the state legislature.
While Deputy Commissioner Srinagar has refused to disclose the information citing section 8 of the RTI Act, the information from Kupwara and Budgam districts is awaited.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Khurram Parvez said the information is just a tip of ice-berg as the Act was wildly used by the authorities to crush the dissent. He said more than 20000 persons have been booked under the Act by authorities during last two decades on baseless charges.
“The quashing of detentions by the Court has proven that government is holding persons on flimsy grounds under the Act,” Khurram said, said adding that this is a big human rights issue.
PSA dates back to 70s in the state and its first victim was the then president of Kashmir Motor Drivers Association (KMDA), Ghulam Nabi. During 1977 polls Ghulam Nabi contested on Janta Party ticket against Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.  Soon after the elections the government introduced the Public Safety Ordinance, and on 8 April 1978 it became an Act after it was passed by the state legislature. Ghulam Nabi was its first victim. But in 1978 Justice MRA Ansari Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court revoked PSA of Ghulam Nabi.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 22 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST




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