Bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal on Monday stepped down from the post of president of Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement, a party he founded after quitting the civil administrative services last year. Faesal is currently under house arrest in Srinagar.
Faesal said he was not in a position to continue with political activities and wanted to be “freed from the responsibilities of the organisation”, the party said in a statement.
Faesal’s resignation was formally accepted at an online meeting of the State Executive Committee of the JKPM, which was held to discuss the ongoing political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, the statement said.
“Keeping in view this request, it was decided to accept his request so that he can better continue with his life and contribute whichever way he chooses,” the statement added. “It was further unanimously decided to appoint current Vice President Feroze Peerzada as president for the party in the interim till formal elections can be held for the post of President.”
The party said it had also accepted the resignation of Chairperson Javed Mustafa Mir, who had joined the JKPM, after resigning from the Peoples Democratic Party. Mir has been under house arrested since August 5 last year after the Centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Faesal was also among the hundreds of political leaders of the Valley who were taken into custody last year. In February, he was booked under the stringent Public Safety Act. He 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.
On May 14, the administration had extended Faesal’s detention by three months. Faesal was then about to complete three months of detention under the law and was due for a review. He was finally released in June. However, a day later, the Jammu and Kashmir administration put him under house arrest.