Abdullahs’ habeas corpus petitions: To pleas for release of 16 NC leaders, J&K admin says none detained

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Written by Naveed Iqbal | Srinagar | Published: August 12, 2020 2:01:31 am

NC president and Lok Sabha member Farooq Abdullah and NC vice president Omar Abdullah filed the habeas corpus petitions. (Express photo: Shuaib Masoodi/File)

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has told the high court that none of the 15 National Conference (NC) leaders, for whom party president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah have filed habeas corpus petitions seeking their release, had been detained.

The NC said the UT administration’s response was “fallacious and far from reality”, and that the “excuses put forth by the administration in the court of law are misleading and contemptuous”.

Farooq and Omar Abdullah had filed petitions in the J&K High Court in July seeking the release of 16 NC leaders and functionaries from house arrest, pointing out that they had remained in detention for more than a year. One of them, Syed Mohammad Shafi, died after the petitions were filed.

In response to the petitions, IGP (Kashmir Zone) Vijay Kumar said Monday, “The petitioner at no point of time came to be detained by the respondents…” The police also said there is “no legal proceeding currently underway or even contemplated which would have entailed his arrest/detention”. But, “It is true that in the wake of Constitutional amendments carried out in Article 370, it was apprehended that inimical elements may disturb peace and petitioner may provoke them…”

No order of detention, either under preventive detention law or substantive law, was issued against the petitioners, police said.

NC’s counsel Shariq Riyaz said they would file a rejoinder ahead of the next hearing on August 24.

The leaders for whom petitions have been filed include Ali Mohammad Sagar and Abdul Rahim Rather. Omar tweeted, “If it’s about their security, then how come the same ‘precautions’ aren’t taken for BJP & Apni party leaders?…” Police have argued that being a “categorised person” or protected persons, “it is well within the charter of duties of the respondent (UT administration) to ensure safety and security of the petitioner…”

Omar said, “Administration failing in providing security to political workers, evidenced by the spree of attacks against BJP workers, because the police is too busy being jailers rather than protectors. Security NO reason to detain people in their homes.”

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