The Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal had been detained for trying to instigate people at the Srinagar airport against the “sovereignty and integrity of the country”, PTI reported. The government said Faesal’s custody was not unauthorised as the detention was under an order from an executive magistrate.
On August 14, Faesal was detained at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and sent back to Kashmir, where he was held again at a makeshift detention centre at a hotel in Srinagar. Faesal was detained under the Public Safety Act. Last week, he moved the Delhi High Court saying he was detained when he was about to board a flight from the Delhi airport to go to Harvard University in the United States. Faesal had alleged that officials did not get a transit remand before they had illegally taken him back to Srinagar.
“On his arrival at Srinagar [from Delhi], he began to address a gathering of people at the arrival terminal,” the state government told the Delhi High Court in an affidavit. “He started instigating the persons gathered against the sovereignty and integrity of the country having the potential of breach of peace. The said actions were witnessed by airport authority and police.”
The former bureaucrat did not have a student visa even though he claimed that he was going to the United States to pursue his academic career, the state government said. The affidavit said a lookout circular was issued against Faesal after a request from the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Therefore, the necessary action under the circular was to prevent him from going abroad and inform the intelligence bureau, it said.
The state government said that Faesal was “apprehended on the spot” on verbal orders from Budgam Executive Magistrate under sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The politician was then asked to furnish a bond of Rs 50,000 for “keeping the peace”, which Faesal refused to give, Bar and Bench reported.
“It is not conceivable, in absence of any cogent material, to accept the theory that a leader of a political outfit which is very vocal about the constitutional actions taken by the Constitutional bodies of our country on 5th August 2019, would leave the country at this juncture to pursue some academic course at Harvard University, that too without a student visa,” the affidavit said. The state government further added that apart from his tickets, connecting him from Delhi to Boston through Turkey and Frankfurt, Faesal had failed to prove his claim of going to study.
The state government also sought the dismissal of Faesal’s petition, saying that the Delhi High Court did not have territorial jurisdiction to hear the plea, according to PTI. The affidavit further added that the order and authority that had passed the order for Faesal’s detainment came under Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s jurisdiction.
Before he was detained, Faesal had been vocal against the Centre’s move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and had been expressing his dissent on social media.