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National Conference leader and former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah has been detained under the J&K Public Safety Act (PSA). Last month, former IAS officer Shah Faesal was stopped at New Delhi airport and sent back to Kashmir, where he has been detained under the Public Safety Act. The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) received the assent of the J&K Governor in 1978. The Act was introduced by the government of Sheikh Abdullah as a tough law to prevent the smuggling of timber and keep the smugglers “out of circulation”. Salient features: The law allowed the government to detain any person above the age of 16 without trial for a period of two years “in the case of persons acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State”. In August 2018, the Act was amended to allow individuals to be detained under the PSA outside the state as well. Detention orders under PSA can be issued by Divisional Commissioners or District Magistrates. The detaining authority need not disclose any facts about the detention “which it considers to be against the public interest to disclose”. It provides protection from prosecution or any other legal proceeding for any action taken “in good faith” under the Act.

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