Kashmiri bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal was taken to a makeshift detention centre at the Centaur Hotel in Srinagar, officials told PTI on Thursday. Faesal, who was detained at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and sent back to Kashmir on Wednesday, was reportedly moved from his residence to the hotel the same night.
Faesal was detained under the Public Safety Act, officials said, adding that he was intercepted before he could take a flight to Istanbul, which would connect him to London. The politician has been vocal against the Centre’s move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and has been expressing his dissent on social media.
Meanwhile, Congress leader P Chidambaram criticised authorities for the treatment towards Faesal. “Why is freedom being denied to a son of India and Kashmir, Shah Faesal?” the Congress leader tweeted. “Only a few years ago, when he topped the Indian Administrative Service, he was celebrated as a hero, today how has he become a threat to public safety?”
The former finance minister also brought up the house arrest of former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers. “Why is freedom being denied to three former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir since August 6th?” Chidambaram asked. “Why are two former Chief Ministers under virtual solitary confinement and one former CM under house arrest? Why are political leaders who fought secessionists and militants locked up?”
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were put under house arrest a day before the central government announced that it was doing away with Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and split the state into two Union Territories.
Last week, Jammu and Kashmir authorities airlifted a batch of 20 “potential troublemakers” from Srinagar to Agra as a preventive measure, according to PTI.