Omar Abdullah set free after 8 months

Calls for release of detainees, restoration of 4G internet

Omar Abdullah set free after 8 months

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir former chief minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah was released on Tuesday here after spending about eight months in detention since August 5.

The detention of Omar was revoked after Public Safety Act (PSA) slapped on him was withdrawn by the J&K administration on Tuesday. “In exercise of powers conferred under Section 19(1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978, the government hereby revokes the detention order bearing No. DMS/PSA/146/2020 issued by District Magistrate, Srinagar of Omar Abdullah with immediate effect,” an order issued Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra said.

Soon after being set free Omar urged the Centre to release all detained people, including politicians, within and outside Jammu and Kashmir and  appealed for restoration of high speed internet service in J&K in view of Coronavirus outbreak.

He said people faced a lot of hardships post August 5 decision of the Centre, but the time was not ripe to talk about them as the people were fighting the war of life and death.

”During my detention, I have thought a lot about what I would say about what happened after August 5… what I would say about J&K as a State was broken up into two Union Territories… what I would say about the change in the status of J&K and about the hardships the people faced. But first, let us get rid of Coronavirus, save ourselves and our families and friends from Coronavirus,” Omar told reporters outside his residence.

He said all the detained leaders, including PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, should be released in view of the situation arising out of the coronavirus scare. ”Many people were detained on August 5… some who were politicians and political workers while some who were not affiliated with any political party. All those detained, be it within the state or outside it, I want the Centre to have mercy on them, bring them home and release them in view of the coronavirous outbreak,” he added.

 Omar also appealed government to restore 4G internet services in J&K. “I humbly appeal the Centre to lift the restrictions on the communication. If nothing, at least 3G/4G be restored. We are told to take lessons on awareness about Coronavirus from the internet, but what to do when nothing opens because of low speed,” he said.

He said, ”We face the fight of our lives over the next few weeks & months as we come to terms & work to defeat COVID 19. I will do everything in my individual capacity to help the authorities overcome this challenge and I appeal to all of you to do the same.”

The former chief minister, who was active on social media before his detention, posted his picture and the order copy of his release on twitter. ”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,” he wrote.

”Had lunch with my mum & dad for the first time in almost 8 months. I can’t remember a better meal even though I’ve been in a bit of a daze & don’t remember what I ate,” Omar tweeted along with the picture of his father, mother and his picture.