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Farooq Abdullah released after 7 months of detention

Farooq Abdullah released after 7 months of detention

New Delhi/Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah was released on Friday after he spent over seven months in detention, with the government revoking the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) under which he had been held at his residence here.

Immediately after his release, Abdullah demanded that his son and former Chief Minister Omar and PDP's Mehbooba Mufti and other political leaders lodged in various prisons in the Union Territory and outside of it should be released at the earliest to allow political activities to take place.

The 82-year-old veteran politician had initially been taken into preventive detention on August 5, the day the Centre abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Subsequently, the PSA was slapped on him on September 15 which was extended on December 13.

The December extension of PSA was due to end at midnight Friday and could have been extended for a maximum of six more months. However, it emerged that his PSA was extended on March 11 for another three months but was suddenly revoked on Friday afternoon.

Abdullah, who was the first Chief Minister to have been booked under the PSA, appeared after 220 days before reporters and said: "Today, I am free but this freedom is not complete. It will be complete when other leaders like Omar, Mehbooba Mufti and others in outside jails are released."

The Lok Sabha member from Srinagar, who was flanked by his family members including wife Molie Abdullah, expressed gratitude to all those, including the leaders of the country who raised the issue of his detention in Parliament.

Abdullah, who underwent an eye surgery earlier this week, expressed hope that he would be able to attend Parliament so that he can raise the voice of the people there.

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