IAS topper-turned-politician Shah Faesal released from 10-month detention

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Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday revoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) of bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal and two Peoples Democratic Party leaders – Sartaj Madani and Peer Mansoor.

All three leaders have been in detention since the Government of India abrogated the special Constitutional position of J&K and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories in August last year.

All the three were released from detention on Wednesday evening.

As per separate orders issued by the Home Department, PSA detention of Shah Faesal, Sartaj Madani and Peer Mansoor was revoked “with immediate effect”. While Madni was released from a government guest house at Gupkar here, Faesal and Mansoor were released from MLA Hostel on MA Road.

Faesal who had formed the J&K People’s Movement in 2019 was booked under the PSA in February this year with his detention being extended barely hours before it was to come to an end.

Faesal, the IAS topper in 2010, was prevented from boarding a flight from New Delhi to Istanbul on August 14, 2019. He was brought to Srinagar and placed under house arrest after which he was put under detention along with several other political leaders.

On August 6, 2019, Madni, who is the maternal uncle of former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was detained from his residence in Anantnag and put up at Dak Bungalow Anantnag for two days. After his detention, Madni was first booked under PSA on February 5, 2020 and was shifted from the SKICC to a government accommodation at Gupkar road. Government of J&K had extended the detention period of Madni by three more months on May 5.

Peer Mansoor who was booked under PSA on February 20 was also under continuous detention for last nine months. Several political leaders cutting across party lines have welcomed the release of Shah Faesal along with Madni and Peer Mansoor.

The Twitter handle of PDP president Mehooba Mufti, which is being operated by her daughter Iltija, said she was “relieved that arbitrary and illegal detention of Shah Faesal, Sartaj Madni and Peer Mansoor Hussain under PSA has finally been revoked.”

She said that political detainees including Sajad Lone, Ali Mohd Sagar, Hilal Lone, Nayeem Akhtar and Waheed Para, and civil society members such as Mian Qayoom and others are still imprisoned in and outside Jammu and Kashmir. “They must be released immediately.”

She said that barring a few, most political leaders cutting across party lines continue being under house arrest. “Their unlawful detention is an aberration of the law.”

PDP youth leader Arif Laigroo while welcoming the release of Faesal and others demanded that PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and other leaders under detention should also be released soon.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Monga also welcomed the release of Faesal and others. “This is welcome step. All political leaders must be released without any delay.” Monga said.

Former minister and senior JKAP leader Ghulam Hassan Mir also welcomed the release of Shah Faisal, Sartaj Madni and Pir Mansoor.

In a tweet, Mir said, “happy to know that PSA detention of Shah Faisal ,Sartaj Madni and Pir Mansoor has been revoked.”  He pressed for the revocation of detention of other detainees lodged within and outside the State.

“Glad to hear that  PSA detention of Shah Faisal and few other politicians has been revoked. I hope many other leaders including Sajad Lone, Ali Muhammad Sagar ,Er.Rashid  and Hilal Akbar Lone who are still under detention will be set free as well,” former MLA Kupwara Advocate Bashir Dar said in a statement.

Mehooba Mufti, whose official residence was designated as a sub-jail; National Conference (NC) general secretary Ali Muhammed Sagar; NC parliamentarian Akbar Lone’s son Hilal Lone and PDP leader Naeem Akhter continue to remain in detention.