After 163 days of preventive custody following the abrogation of Article 370 provisions, Former chief minister of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah will be shifted to a house near his official residence, officials said on Wednesday. Presently kept at Hari Nivas, Omar Abdullah is likely to be shifted on Thursday as the Jammu and Kashmir administration plans to use the Hari Nivas to accommodate a ministerial delegation from the Centre visiting the Valley soon
A team of Union ministers including Railway minister Piyush Goyal, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minister of State G Kishan Reddy are scheduled to travel soon to the Valley to educate the people about the developmental activities that have taken place after the abrogation of the state's special status and its division into two union territories.
The house where Omar will be shifted is very near to his official residence and is being readied as he is a Special Services Group (SSG) protectee, the officials said. Along with his father Farooq Abdullah and another former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, Omar was among hundreds of political, social activists, lawyers and businessmen detained after the centre abrogated Article 370 on August 5 and divided Jammu and Kashmir state into two union territories -- Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
Omar, Mehbooba and other politicians were detained under section 107 of Code of Criminal Procedure which allows authorities and an executive magistrate to put any person under preventive custody for a period of six months if he receives information that the person is likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity.
Farooq Abdullah is the only mainstream politician against whom the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) was slapped on September 17 for a period of three months, which was renewed on December 16 last year.
Following an initiative taken by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, a group of central ministers will visit Jammu and Kashmir starting from January 18 including sensitive areas in the valley to spread awareness about the positive impact of abrogation of Article 370 provisions and the development measures taken by the government for the region, sources said on Wednesday.
Thirty-six Union ministers will visit different districts in both the divisions of the Union Territory starting from January 18 to January 24 and the Home ministry is coordinating it, the sources said. Minister of State for Home G Kishen Reddy has written a letter to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, informing about the visit of the ministers.
In his letter, Reddy said that Home Minister Shah has desired that all members of the Union Council of Ministers pay a visit to Jammu and Kashmir, with the objective of disseminating information about the importance of the Centre’s policies for the overall development of the Union Territory and its people along with the steps taken by the government particularly in the past five months after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions and bifurcation of erstwhile state.
(With agency inputs)