Omar Abdullah to be shifted from Hari Nivas

His present abode in detention is to be used to lodge central ministers visiting the valley

Srinagar: Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, will be shifted to a house near his official residence, 163 days after he was taken into preventive custody following the abrogation of Article 370, officials said here Wednesday.

Omar Abdullah, presently in detention at Hari Nivas, is likely to be shifted on Thursday as the administration of the Union territory plans to use Hari Nivas to accommodate a ministerial delegation from the Centre that will be visiting the Valley soon, they said.

A team of Union ministers including railway minister Piyush Goyal, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy are scheduled to travel to the Valley next week to educate the people about the development 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 Abdullah will be shifted is very near his official residence and is being readied as he is a Special Services Group (SSG) protectee, 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 & Kashmir state into two union territories -- Ladakh, and Jammu & Kashmir.

Omar, Mehbooba and other politicians were detained under Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code 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 he or she is likely to commit a breach of peace or disturb 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.

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