“It’s a very different world today,” he tweets after his release
Hours after the Jammu and Kashmir administration revoked his detention after more than seven months, former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah has called for the immediate release of others in preventive detention since August 5.
“A lot has changed since August 5 in the region. J&K is split into two Union Territories. There is a lot to talk about but right now we need to focus on the outbreak of COVID-19 and safety of people. Also, other detained people should be released, whose families would be equally worried due to the outbreak,” Mr. Abdullah, sporting a flowing white beard, said.
In a tweet, his first since August 5 last year, Mr. Abdullah wrote: “232 days after my detention today I finally left Hari Niwas. It’s a very different world today to the one that existed on 5th August 2019”.
Earlier in the day, J&K government spokesman Rohit Kansal announced the release of Mr. Abdullah.
“His detention order under the Public Safety Act (PSA) has been revoked,” reads a government order.
The junior Abdullah is the second top leader after NC president Farooq Abdullah to be released. However, Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, her aide Naeem Akhtar and Sartaj Madani remain in detention centres in Srinagar. Besides, J&K Peoples Movement chief Shah Faesal is also behind the bars.
“I am glad Mr. Abdullah is back with his family. Hope the ordeal ends for all of us. Separation is a hard thing, for one and all,” said Mr. Akhtar’s daughter.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has also welcomed the decision to release Mr. Abdullah from the “unconstitutional detention”.
“So happy to learn that Omar Abdullah’s unconstitutional and undemocratic detention has been revoked at last. Its about time the union government restores democratic and constitutional rights to the people of Jammu and Kashmir as well,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet.
Newly floated Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari also welcomed the government’s decision.