National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Saturday said he will start the process of revoking cases filed against protesters booked for allegedly pelting stones at security forces in Jammu and Kashmir if his party is voted to power in the Assembly elections, Greater Kashmir reported. The former chief minister also reiterated that his party will withdraw the controversial Public Safety Act.
The Act, passed in 1978, allows police to detain suspects without a trial for up to two years.
Abdullah was speaking to the media in Khanabal, where he had been campaigning for Hassnain Masoodi, the National Conference candidate from the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat. Anantnag will vote in three phases, on April 23, April 29 and May 6, in the ongoing General Elections.
“I have already stated in some of the rallies in northern Kashmir that our party will withdraw PSA [Public Safety Act] and all cases against youth charged in stone-pelting cases if we are elected to power,” Abdullah told a reporter.
Abdullah had earlier talked about revoking the Public Safety Act at a gathering in Pulwama in January.
A date is yet to be set for the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections. Abdullah on Saturday said that he hopes they will be scheduled shortly after the Lok Sabha polls end on May 19.
Abdullah refused to respond to queries about Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone’s claim that he had met BJP President Amit Shah after the results of the 2014 state elections, Greater Kashmir said. Lone last week reportedly claimed that Abdullah had met the BJP top brass and sought their support to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir that year. The People’s Democratic Party had emerged the single-largest party in that election, followed by the BJP. The two later entered into an alliance to form the government, but parted ways in 2018. The state is now under president’s rule.
In February 2018, Mehbooba Mufti, then the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, said her government would withdraw cases filed against 9,730 people booked between 2008 and 2017 in stone-pelting incidents.