The Jammu and Kashmir government has released five people detained since August under the stringent Public Safety Act, the Greater Kashmir reported on Sunday. Under the PSA, a person may be detained without trial for up to two years if charged with threatening national security or up to one year if booked for maintenance of law and order.

The five detenues ­­– Muhammad Maqbool Malla, Farooq Ahmad Shah, Ajaz Shamed Parray, Adil Farooq Bhat and Firdous Ahmad Shah ­– had been kept at the Kotbalwal Jail in Jammu.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court cancelled the detention of a person from Srinagar who was charged under PSA in September last year.

Earlier this week, the the Jammu and Kashmir administration had released 16 people detained under the PSA, and five convicts, from Srinagar Central Jail. The move was an effort to stop the coronavirus from spreading inside prisons in the Union Territory.

After the Centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August last year, several politicians, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, had been put under house arrest and charged under the stringent act.

Farooq Abdullah was released after seven months of house arrest on March 13. His son Omar Abdullah was freed on March 24. People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti was shifted to her residence from a Srinagar sub-jail earlier this month but she continues to be detained under the PSA.