The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday put bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal under house arrest, Hindustan Times reported. This came a day after Faesal, along with Peoples Democratic Party leaders Pir Mansoor and Sartaj Madni were released from detention.
The political leaders have been “informally” told not to move out of their houses, according to PTI. Scroll.in tried to contact the inspector general but is yet to receive a response. Three of them were shifted to their official residences after being released from detention following revocation of the Public Safety Act order. However, they were informally directed not to step out of their homes and a police guard has also been posted outside.
Faesal’s associates alleged that they were not allowed to meet him. An unidentified police officer told Hindustan Times there are certain restrictions imposed on the politician.
“We have orders not to allow anybody inside,” a security personnel on guard told Greater Kashmir.
Madani, who is the uncle of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, told PTI that he was unsure whether he was under house arrest. He added that he was not allowed to go to his native village in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara. “I was told that I can go without assigning any reason,” Madani said.
On May 14, the administration had extended Faesal’s detention by three months. Faesal, who was booked under the PSA on February 15, was then about to complete three months of detention under the law and was due for a review. He has been in detention at the MLA Hostel in Srinagar.
Faesal was charged for advocating “soft separatism” through his social media posts and articles, according to the government. The stringent Public Safety Act has two sections – public order and threat to the security of the state. The former allows the accused to be detained without a trial for three months, a period which can be extended and the latter allows the accused to be detained for two years.
The politician had been in detention since August last year after the Centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. He was detained at the Delhi airport before he was scheduled to fly abroad and brought to Srinagar under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
In September, Faesal withdrew a plea he had filed in the Delhi High Court against his detention. He said that several residents of Jammu and Kashmir had been unlawfully detained and had no legal recourse.
On May 5, former Mufti’s detention under the Public Safety Act was also extended by three more months. Former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, who had also been detained, were released in March.