February 26, 2020
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Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah addresses a press conference in Srinagar on August 3, 2019.   | Photo Credit:
Nissar Ahmad

PSA file accuses the former J&K Chief Minister of instigating general masses against the Centre after its move on Article 370.

Former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah was “using politics as a cover for his radical ideology and for planning activities against the Union government” and “his popularity and potential to draw voters to polling booths” posed a threat, according to the Public Safety Act (PSA) dossier prepared by the Jammu and Kashmir administration.The PSA dossier, served to Mr. Abdullah on February 4, reads: “…Despite the fact that the subject has been a mainstream politician, he has been planning his activities against the Union of India under the guise of politics. And while enjoying the support of gullible masses, he has been successful in execution of such activities.”Without citing any incidents or statements, the dossier accused Mr. Abdullah of “removing his cover and resorting to dirty politics, adopting a radical methodology by way of instigating general masses against the policies of the Central government” after the abrogation of Article 370 by the BJP-led Central government on August 5.Mr. Abdullah, who in his tweet on August 4, 2019, appealed to people to maintain calm, was arrested on August 5 and remained in solitary confinement at the Hari Niwas palace, an infamous interrogation centre of 1990s that was turned into a sub-jail in August 2019.

To the people of Kashmir, we don’t know what is in store for us but I am a firm believer that what ever Almighty Allah has planned it is always for the better, we may not see it now but we must never doubt his ways. Good luck to everyone, stay safe & above all PLEASE STAY CALM.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) August 4, 2019

The capacity of Mr. Abdullah, 49, “to influence people for any cause can be gauged from the fact that he was able to convince his electorate to come out and vote in huge numbers even during peak of militancy and poll boycotts.”Editorial | Extended folly: On invocation of PSA against Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba MuftiWith huge following on the micro blogging site Twitter, Mr. Abdullah’s dossier accused him of “opposing the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 and instigating people on Twitter against the unity and integrity of the nation.”Explained | The Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety ActIn jail for six months under Section 107 and 151, Mr. Abdullah under the PSA may be behind bars for from three months to two years without a trial.In a public speech, Mr. Abdullah, whose grandfather Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah introduced the PSA to book timber smugglers, in January 2019 promised to “revoke the PSA if his party NC was voted to power.”

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