Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Congress's Kapil Sibal protests Farooq's detention under draconian law

Farooq Abdullah Farooq Abdullah
Patty Aguilar | 17 September, 2019, 18:03

Strongly condemning the detention of party president Farooq Abdullah under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), the National Conference on Tuesday described the "repressive act" as "yet another assault on the democratic polity and ethos" of the world's largest democracy.

The detention of a veteran Kashmiri parliamentarian and former chief minister under a controversial law has generated heated debate in India.

Most political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), including Abdullah, have been under detention since August 5, when the government announced the abrogation of Article 370 that granted a special status to J&K.

Many, including veteran journalists and politicians, have condemned the move as "draconian" and argued that it sets a risky precedent. "We're not gun-runners, grenade-throwers, stone-throwers, we believe in a peaceful resolution of things", Abdullah said.

"There is no one in Kashmir more devoted to the idea of a united India of which J&K is an integral part than Shri Farooq Abdulla", Chidambaram said on Twitter.

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If the leaders who fought against militancy and for the unity and integrity of the country are put behind bars under the PSA, it is "misfortune" of the country, he said.

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.

He had said that there were "competing claims" about where Mr Abdullah - a member of India's upper house of parliament - was. "If he (Abdullah) does not want to come out of his house, he can not be brought out at gunpoint", Shah said, when other parliamentarians expressed concern over Abdullah's absence during the debate on Kashmir's status. The top court will take up the case on 30 September. "Thousands of political leaders, activists and journalists continue to be silenced through administrative detention laws". Mr Abdullah had been kept under "illegal detention without any authority of law in violation of his constitutional rights", said the petition.

However, there has been some social media support for the government's decision as well. He was detained under the Public Safety Act last month.

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