Former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah, on Friday, was released after 7 months in detention. In his first public speech since August 5 last year, he urged the government to free the remaining politicians

Srinagar: The three-time chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), Farooq Abdullah, was released Friday afternoon, following a government today order scrapping a September directive which extended his detainment by a period of three months.

Upon his release, the 83-year-old leader of the National Conference (NC) thanked the political leaders who raised their voices against the prolonged detention of Kashmiri politicians including himself. He also appealed to the government to release the rest of the detainees, including Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, who continue to languish in confinement since August 5, 2019.

"I'm grateful to people of the State and all leaders and people in the rest of the country who spoke for our freedom. This freedom will be complete when all leaders are released. I hope GoI will take action to release everyone," he said upon in his first public statement after being released from his detention of over seven months. 

"I will not speak on political matters until everyone else is released," the five-time parliamentarian declared in his speech. 

Farooq, his son Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti along with several other J&K leaders were held under preventive detention beginning August 5 last year as the government moved to abrogate sections of the Article 370 and bifurcate J&K into two Union Territories (UTs). 
The government also snapped data and telecom services and deployed thousands of troops into the Valley to prevent a violent backlash against its moves. 

On September 17, 2019, just hours before the Supreme Court was to take up a plea by MDMK leader Vaiko on the Rajya Sabha MP's prolonged detention, the authorities slapped the draconian PSA on the NC leader without a trial. He was charged with “disturbing public order” under the stringent law - which permits a person to be kept in jail for three to six months without a trial.