IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal was detained at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Wednesday morning. He was sent back to Srinagar, where he was detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA).
The J&K PSA, first promulgated in 1978, allows the government to detain a person without trial for a period of three to six months. Faesal was bound for Istanbul, news agency PTI quoted officials as saying.
Faesal had criticised the government for scrapping special status to J&K, calling it “a demise of the political mainstream in the state.”
“I see it as a catastrophic turn in our collective history, a day when everybody is feeling that it is a death knell to our identity, our history, our right to our land, our right to our existence. A new age of indignation has begun from August 5,” he told The Indian Express in an exclusive interview.
Faesal, the first Kashmiri to top the IAS in 2009, resigned from the service earlier this year and set up J&K People’s Movement with the aim to join mainstream electoral politics.
J&K was put under lockdown on August 4, a day before the government proposed to revoke provisions of Article 370 that granted special status to J&K. Section 144 was imposed in the Valley and mobile, internet and cable TV connections were snapped. Three days later, Parliament ratified this decision and passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, which bifurcates the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The Indian Express reported that nearly 400 political leaders in the Valley, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, are arrested. Curbs in Jammu were lifted completely Wednesday but will continue to remain in some places of Kashmir, the police said.