NEW DELHI - Farooq Abdullah, the former chief minister of Indian-occupied Kashmir who has largely been pro-India throughout his political carrier, was arrested Monday under a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial.

The 81 years old politician was arrested at his residence in Srinagar, the summer capital and main city of the disputed Himalayan region.

“We have arrested him, and a committee will decide how long the arrest will be,” said Muneer Khan, a top police official.

Abdullah is the first pro-India politician who has been arrested under the Public Safety Act, under which rights activists say more than 20,000 Kashmiris have been detained in the last two decades.

Amnesty International has called the PSA a “lawless law,” and rights groups say India has used the law to stifle dissent and circumvent the criminal justice system, undermining accountability, transparency, and respect for human rights.

The PSA came into effect in 1978, under the government of Abdullah’s father, who himself was a highly popular Kashmir leader.

The law, in its early days, was supposedly meant to target timber smugglers in Kashmir. After an armed rebellion started in the region in 1989, the law was used against rebels and anti-India protesters.

Abdullah’s residence was declared a subsidiary jail and he was put under house arrest on Aug 5 when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government in New Delhi stripped Jammu and Kashmir of semi-autonomy and statehood, creating two federal territories.

On August 6, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah denied to the lower house of Parliament that Abdullah had been detained or arrested.

“If he (Abdullah) does not want to come out of his house, he cannot be brought out at gunpoint,” Shah said, when other parliamentarians expressed concern over Abdullah’s absence during the debate on Kashmir’s status.

Meanwhile, the Indian Supreme Court sought a response from the central government and the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea seeking to produce Abdullah before the court.

Many anti-India protesters as well as pro-India Kashmiri leaders have been held in jails and other makeshift facilities to contain protests against India’s decisions, according to police officials.