Omar says will repeal PSA on first day in Govt

‘If NC comes to power, PSA has to go lock, stock, and barrel’
The PSA was enacted during the government led by Omar's grandfather, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.
The PSA was enacted during the government led by Omar's grandfather, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.JKNC

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) Vice President and former chief minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday said that if voted to power in the forthcoming assembly elections in J&K, the NC government would repeal the Public Safety Act (PSA) on the very first day.

Addressing the NC workers in Doru area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, he said, “We will not rest until we protect the land, employment rights of our people. I have time and again said that if NC comes to power PSA has to go lock stock and barrel, we are committed to materialise our pledges.”

The PSA was enacted during the government led by Omar's grandfather, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.

The act became controversial because it was originally enacted to deal with the menace of timber smuggling and Bob Khan, a timber smuggler from Ganderbal district was the first PSA detainee in J&K.

Over the years, PSA became an easy weapon in the hands of politicians in power to be used against their rivals.

Under the harsh act, a person can be detained for two years without any sentence from a judicial court.

Abdullah said that the next assembly elections in J&K would be fought for identity.

He said that the elections would not be fought for roads, electricity and water.

"Elections are generally contested for development but this time, elections will be fought for identity so that land, jobs and other rights are there for locals only," Abdullah said.

He also said that now the government plans to give a unique identity card to every household but wondered why this was needed when they already have Aadhaar, PAN and other identities.

"This family ID is nowhere in India which is another attack on our identity and by creating these numbers the government is trying to ensure that J&K residents are known by numbers not by names," Abdullah said.

He said his father Farooq Abdullah would join Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra from Lakhanpur on the Yatra's entry point into J&K.

Abdullah said that the BJP was running away from elections due to its failure to deliver on the promises they made to people.

Lamenting the discrimination being meted out to the people of J&K, the NC vice president said that he was not able to understand what was in the mind of ruling BJP.

“They aren't satisfied with scrapping our identity and our constitutional rights. We have the power to stand up against such discrimination. Those among you who are happy with it should stay indoors. But those among you who don't want to be discriminated should come out and vote in huge numbers. It is your vote that can stop them achieving that end. If we chose to sit in our homes, then no one could save us. It's through vote only that we can protect our individuality from getting destroyed,” he said.

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