Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Mehbooba Mufti has been released from detention on 13th October. She was detained with several other political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir in August 2020 when Home Minister Amit Shah announced the abrogation of Article 370. The government of Jammu and Kashmir issued the order to revoke the detention that was extended for three months on 31st July 2020.
In her first message to the public, she said that no one could forget the ‘insult’ and ‘humiliation’ when Article 370 was repealed. Mufti called the action of the central government, illegal and anti-democratic. Urging Kashmiris to continue the ‘struggle,’ she said, “We need to take back what Delhi Darbar took away (Article 370) from us illegally and in an undemocratic manner. The issue of Kashmir needs resolution too for which several Kashmiris have given up their lives. I know the path won’t be easy but we need to continue with this struggle. Today, when I am being let off, I demand the release of others who are still in detention illegally.”
After being released from fourteen long months of illegal detention, a small message for my people. pic.twitter.com/gIfrf82Thw— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) October 13, 2020
Mufti was Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir during the period when NDA and PDP joined hands to form a government. The alliance did not last long due to the differences between the two parties. Mufti was booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) in February 2020. She was shifted to her official residence in April, which was declared a subsidiary jail by the Jammu and Kashmir authorities.
Reaction from the political leaders
Several political leaders extended their support to the decision including Omar Abdullah who was released from detention in March 2020.
I’m pleased to hear that @MehboobaMufti Sahiba has been released after more than a year in detention. Her continued detention was a travesty & was against the basic tenets of democracy. Welcome out Mehbooba.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 13, 2020
I’m pleased to hear that @MehboobaMufti has been released from detention after 14 months.— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) October 14, 2020
I urge the Govt to release all other political detainees as well.
The democratic processes, which have been suspended during this time, must also be reinstated.
Iltija, daughter of Mehbooba Mufti, was handling her Twitter account in her absense. She posted a ‘thank you’ note from Mufti’s account and informed about the end of her detention period. Iltija had moved to Supreme Court against the continued detention of Mufti. The court was to resume hearing in the case on 15th October.
As Ms Mufti’s illegal detention finally comes to an end, Id like to thank everybody who supported me in these tough times. I owe a debt of gratitude to you all. This is Iltija signing off. فی امان اﷲ May allah protect you— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) October 13, 2020
Abrogation of Article 370
In the manifesto, BJP had promised to repeal Article 370 from the state of Jammu and Kashmir that gave it special status. On 5th August, the BJP-led Union government fulfilled the promise. The state was divided into two Union Territories, Ladakh, and Jammu & Kashmir, under Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act. The decision came into effect from 31sr October 2019.