Srinagar: National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said on Thursday that he would ensure revocation of the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) if his party was voted to power in Jammu and Kashmir.
“If voted to power, PSA revocation will be ensured,” the National Conference’s Twitter handle quoted the former chief minister as saying in Pulwama in south Kashmir.
Several separatist leaders and youths accused of involvement in stone-pelting have been detained under PSA. The law, first enacted by the government led by Omar Abdullah’s grandfather, Sheikh Abdullah, in the 1970s to tackle timber-smuggling in forests, has come under criticism from human rights groups like Amnesty International.
Omar Abdullah said his party was committed to bring the state out of misery, despondency and darkness.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was quick to dismiss Omar Abdullah’s promise. “A party that conceived the idea and Acts like PSA, POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act), AFSPA to muzzle dissent voices, rigged elections in 1987, booked elected people in jails and declared them militants are now asking for majority to revoke PSA. Illogical!” the PDP tweeted.
Reacting to the PDP’s criticism, Omar Abdullah said: “I was expecting this panic reaction. Thank you for not disappointing me. You had a chance after 2014 when you people were praising PM (Narendra) Modi to the skies. Why didn’t you revoke PSA or attempt to have AFSPA removed?”