Opposition leaders demand immediate release of Abdullahs and Mufti
Opposition parties have demanded the immediate release of the three former CMs of J&K, and sought restoration of “rights and freedom” of Kashmiris.
A photograph of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has surfaced on the Internet and vent viral this morning. This was his second picture which made it to the Internet ever since he was put under detention in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. It’s been nearly seven months since the J&K administration put three top political leaders of the Valley -- Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti -- under detention. Later, in phases, the stringent J&K Public Safety Act (PSA) was imposed against the three former CMs of the erstwhile state.
Now, opposition parties have stepped forward to mount political pressure on the Central government, demanding release of the three leaders.
In a joint statement, eight signatories have accused the Narendra Modi government, saying that “dissent is being muzzled by coercive administrative action” which is threatening the “basic ideals of justice”.
Former Prime Ministers HD Devegowda, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, and former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie are among the signatories who have endorsed the joint letter.
The statement calls detention of Abdullahs and Mufti a “blatant violation of their fundamental rights” guaranteed by the Constitution. It accuses the Narendra Modi government of violating the democratic rights of Kashmiris.
“The indefinite detention of the three former CMs of J&K, along with many other political activists, is a blatant violation of their fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution,” it reads.
It further says: “The prolonged lockdown of the state since 5 August 2019” is an “attack on the constitutionally assured rights and dignity of millions of our sisters and brothers in Kashmir".
It has accused the Modi government of “systematically muting” avenues of raising voices.
The statement also argues that there is no evidence to give credence to the Modi government’s claim that Farooq, Omar and Mehbooba Mufti pose a threat to public safety or they have endangered the interests of the nation in the past.
Notably, the BJP had allied with the National Conference to form the government at the Centre and was part of the PDP-led J&K government.
The signatories have termed the recent tours of the foreign diplomats as “well-choreographed visits” and called out the government for “creating hurdles” in the movement of Indian politicians and media outlets in the Valley.
The Opposition leaders have not only demanded the immediate release of the three former CMs of J&K but have also sought restoration of “rights and freedom” of Kashmiris.