Soon after her release, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti vowed to fight for the restoration of Article 370. Calling August 5, 2019 a black day, Mufti urged everyone in Jammu and Kashmir to work towards resolving the Kashmir conflict.
“I was released today after over a year of detention. During this period, the decision taken on August 5, 2019 to abrogate Article 370 has made my body and soul ache everyday. And I feel this is the condition of every person in Jammu and Kashmir. We cannot forget the humiliation and dacoity of August 5, 2019,” Mufti said in her audio message.
“We should all pledge to take back from Delhi, what it usurped from us through unconstitutional, illegal, undemocratic means,” Mufti added in an apparent reference to Article 370. “We should also struggle to resolve the Kashmir issue for which thousands of people have sacrificed their lives. I concede this road is not an easy one. But I firmly believe that our resolve will help us win this fight. I have been released now and I want all other political prisoners who are languishing in different jails throughout Jammu and Kashmir to be released as well,” Mufti said.
Mehbooba Mufti was arrested on August 5, 2019, the day the government revoked Article 370. She was booked under section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Six months later the former chief minister was booked under the PSA.
Early this month Iltija Mufti, Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter had filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking the release of her mother. In response the government cited the “geopolitical position of Jammu and Kashmir”, its geographical proximity with Pakistan, and Mehbooba’s “glorifying militant” statements for the continuation of her detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
Reacting to her mother’s release, Iltija expressed surprise. “I was not really expecting this sudden decision. I think after I went to the court with a fresh petition the government might have felt a sense of shame and embarrassment and released her,” Iltija told Outlook.
Other political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have also welcomed Mehbooba Mufti’s release. “I’m pleased to hear that @MehboobaMufti Sahiba has been released after more than a year in detention. Her continued detention was a travesty & was against the basic tenets of democracy. Welcome out Mehbooba,” former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted.
I’m pleased to hear that @MehboobaMufti Sahiba has been released after more than a year in detention. Her continued detention was a travesty & was against the basic tenets of democracy. Welcome out Mehbooba.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 13, 2020