Shah Faesal booked under PSA

Srinagar, Feb 15: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has booked former IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal under the controversial Public Safety Act, official sources said on Saturday.
Faesal, who has been under detention after scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, was booked under the PSA on Friday night, according to the sources.
Former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were also booked under the PSA on the night of February 6, barely a few hours before their preventive detention was to end.
The PSA has two sections — ‘public order’ and ‘threat to the security of the state’ — the former allows detention without trial for six months and the latter for two years.
The former bureaucrat from Jammu and Kashmir had floated the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement party after resigning from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
Faesal was stopped from taking a flight to Istanbul at the Delhi airport during the intervening night of August 13 and 14 last year and flown back to Srinagar, where he was detained.
On August 12, a Look Out Circular – under which one is not allowed to leave the country – was issued against him by the Intelligence Bureau. Questioning Faesal’s contention that he was on his way to the US to complete his studies at Harvard University, the government said he was travelling on a tourist visa and not a student visa.
Faesal had been one of the most vocal critics of the government’s move to end Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and divide the state into two Union Territories.
A qualified doctor, Faesal quit the IAS in January to protest against what he called “unabated killings” in Kashmir and the “marginalization of Indian Muslims”.
He became the first person from the state to top the civil services exam in 2010.
Using the PSA against Farooq Abdullah was the first instance of the law being used against a mainstream politician, especially an MP and a three-time Chief Minister. Usually, it has been used to arrest militants, separatists or stone-throwers.
Formally called the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, the law was introduced by Farooq Abdullah’s father, former Chief Minister Sheikh Abdullah, to target timber smugglers.
The PSA, often described as a “draconian law”, empowers the government to detain individuals whose actions can be seen as “instigating, provoking or disturbing, or is likely to disturb, public order”. It also allows the government to detain individuals “outside the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of the officer making the order”.

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