The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday booked Peoples Democratic Party leader Naeem Akhtar under the stringent Public Safety Act, the Hindustan Times reported. Akhtar became the fifth politician from Kashmir to be booked under the Act over the last week. The Act allows detention without trial for up to two years.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were booked under the Act over the last week. Mufti was booked for allegedly collaborating with separatists, a report said on Saturday. The other politicians who have been booked are Peoples Democratic Party leader Sartaj Madni and National Conference leader Ali Muhammad Sagar.
On Saturday, National Conference leaders Mubarak Gul and Tanveer Sadiq, who were also under detention at the MLA Hostel in Srinagar, were shifted to their homes to be put under house arrest. “Naeem Akhtar has been booked under PSA while Gul and Sadiq have been shifted to their homes,” Additional Director General of Police (Security) Munir Khan said. “Today only these three leaders have been moved out of MLA Hostel.”
Akhtar, like the others, has been in detention since August 5 last year, when the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and imposed a curfew in the erstwhile state.
Akhtar’s daughter Shehryar Khanum said she was shocked at her father’s detention under PSA. She said that the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre had made it quite clear in the last couple of days that “mainstream politicians are the enemy in Kashmir”. “There is a larger message in it, the message is that we don’t care what Kashmiris say, we don’t care how they feel , we don’t care if in the face of things we are suspending basic constitutional rights ,” she said.
Akhtar was shifted to the M5 government quarters on Gupkar Road in Srinagar.