Indian authorities extended the detention of two former top elected officials of Kashmir on Thursday under the Public Safety Act (PSA), a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without trial, officials said on Friday.
Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah originally held under a law allowing only a six-month detention, but that term was about to expire, so they were detained under the PSA. The two join thousands of other people who have been detained since August, when the Indian government revoked Kashmir’s and Jammu’s constitutional autonomy. The Indian government cut landline, mobile phone and internet access to those areas at that time. In January the Indian Supreme Court issued an order to the central government and to the administration of the states of Jammu and Kashmir to begin an immediate review of restrictions on movement and landline, mobile phone and internet access in those states. This is gradually being restored.
This detention follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement in Parliament on Thursday that the former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir had made statements that were not acceptable.