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Farooq Abdullah was charged under the Public Safety Act (PSA)

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah was on Monday charged under the Public Safety Act (PSA), a stringent law that enables detention without trial for two years.

The senior politician had so far been under “unofficial” house arrest in Srinagar, where hundreds of politicians have been detained or arrested as part of the centre’s attempts to prevent trouble over its decision to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir last month.

The tougher law was applied to the 81-year-old veteran on a day the Supreme Court sent notice to the centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a petition seeking Mr Abdullah’s release so he could attend an event in Chennai.

The petitioner is Tamil Nadu’s MDMK leader Vaiko, a close friend of Mr Abdullah for four decades.

Mr Vaiko requested the National Conference leader’s release from “illegal detention” so he can attend a mega MDMK event to mark the birth anniversary of CN Annadurai, the first chief minister of Tamil Nadu. Vaiko said Mr Abdullah had been kept under “illegal detention without any authority of law” in violation of his constitutional rights.

“The actions of the respondents (government) are completely illegal and arbitrary and violative of the right to protection of life and personal liberty, right to protection from arrest and detention and also against right to free speech and expression which is the cornerstone of a democratic nation,” the Tamil Nadu leader said.

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