NEW DELHI: As former bureaucrat Shah Faesal knocked at the door of the Delhi High Court against his recent detention at the airport, a Division Bench of the court, headed by Justice Manmohan, issued notice to the Centre seeking its response.
The court posted the matter for hearing on September 9.
The petition, filed by Faesal's friend, also sought the former bureaucrat's release and contended that he was "illegally picked up" from the airport while on way to Harvard University in the United States. He was going there to complete his fellowship.
"The circumstances of his illegal custody from the Delhi airport point to unlawful and illegal detention, which effectively amounts to abduction," the plea said.
After his illegal detention in the intervening night of August 14-15, Faesal was "illegally whisked away to Kashmir against his wishes. No transit remand was sought in Delhi before taking him to Srinagar," it said.
The bureaucrat-turned-politician, who has been highly critical of the government moves on Kashmir, was last week stopped from leaving the country and sent to Srinagar, an official said.
According to an immigration official, Faesal was stopped at the Indira Gandhi International Airport and sent back to Srinagar on another flight and detained there.
Faesal, who quit the Indian Administrative Service in January to form the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples' Movement (JKPM), has been posting tweets and Facebook content highly critical of abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to J&K, and split the state into two Union Territories.
On August 12, he had triggered controversy with his tweet that there would be "no Eid till the last bit of insult is avenged and undone" over what he termed as the "illegal annexation" of Kashmir.
Just before that he had tweeted: "There is no Eid. Kashmiris across the world are mourning the illegal annexation of their land. There shall be no Eid till everything that has been stolen and snatched since 1947 is returned back."
His comments have invited strong criticism on social media.