On Monday, more than a month after the government decided to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories, the government decided to arrest senior Abdullah, who was earlier alleged to have been placed under house arrest.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said that the arrest of Lok Sabha MP and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah under the Public Safety Act (PSA) on Monday suggested that the National Conference patron had not been arrested earlier.
Addressing a press meet along with cabinet colleague Nirmala Sitharaman in the national capital today, Javadekar said, “The government has submitted an affidavit on the current situation which is already under the public domain. In its affidavit, the government has categorically stated that only 9 or 10 police stations are under section 144, while normal activities are on in other areas. The arrest of Farooq Abdullah on Monday was arrested under the PCA, which means that he was not arrested last 35 days.” Javadekar was responding to a question on the Jammu and Kashmir situation.
On Monday, more than a month after the government decided to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories, the government decided to arrest senior Abdullah, who was earlier alleged to have been placed under house arrest. His son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, also former CMs, are already under detention. Home minister Amit Shah had said that on the floor of the Parliament the day Lok Sabha cleared the resolution on Article 370 that Farooq Abdullah had not been placed under arrest and was staying at his home out of his own will. Farooq is Lok Sabha member from Srinagar.
Under the PSA, Abdullah may be kept under detention for up to 2 years at his Srinagar home which has has been made to a subsidiary jail. The latest move has come under heavy criticism from Opposition parties who have questioned the government over the need to arrest the octogenarian.
“It’s obvious that the government is trying to remove nationalist leaders like Farooq Abdullah to create a political vacuum in Jammu and Kashmir that will be filled by terrorists. Kashmir can then permanently be used as a political instrument to polarise the rest of India,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had tweeted on Tuesday.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi also said that the arrest of Farooq Abullah has proved that the government has messed up in Kashmir. He also asked how the leader could become a threat just days after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.