Authorities of India released former chief minister of Indian-administered Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti late on Tuesday. The Kashmiri leader was held since August 5, last year when the Federal Government withdrew the troubled region’s partial autonomy and arrested several politicians and others.
Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said on Twitter about the liberating; however, did not give a reason for her release. Mufti, was put under house arrest under the Public Safety Act, which allowed for detention without trial for up to two years and was being revoked with immediate effect.
Mufti, 61, is the last of Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream political leaders to have been set free after the constitutional reforms split the region into two Union territories. Two of the former chief ministers and politicians Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, were released in March.
Her party leaders confirmed that she would hold a press conference on Friday, while Mufti, affirmed that she would continue the struggle for a Kashmir resolution. She, upon her release, demanded the free of all others – including activists, local politicians and businessmen, who are held in jail after the loss of autonomy for Kashmir.
Mufti, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, received a warm welcome and congratulatory messages following the news.
BJP Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the time that ending Kashmir’s special status was necessary for closer integration of the Muslim majority territory into the rest of India.
Centre imposed a communication restriction with mobiles phones, internet links and landlines down and detained scores of people including Mufti, and various other politicians and activists to prevent massive scale protests from venting over the loss of autonomy for Kashmir. However, protests erupted in the region following the revoke with thousands of others charged by serious offences continue to wilt in jails across India.
Kashmir had enjoyed a special status which allowed to make its own rules regarding fundamental rights, permanent residency and property ownership.
The decision to strip the region from the special status and instead split it into two federally-administered territories had sparked extensive protests.
Indian Government had deployed tens of thousands of troops to stop the unrest and enforced a restriction on communication – although phone connections and internet access have since been restored, access remains low, and speeds are below when compared to other parts of India.
Mufti’s daughter had filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court, challenging her mother’s detention under the Public Safety Act, which is scheduled for hearing on Thursday.