'Blatant violation of fundamental rights': Opposition seeks immediate release of three ex-Jammu and Kashmir CMs, other detained leaders

The Opposition on Monday issued a statement demanding the immediate release of all political detainees in Jammu and Kashmir, especially three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti

FP Staff March 09, 2020 17:43:36 IST
'Blatant violation of fundamental rights': Opposition seeks immediate release of three ex-Jammu and Kashmir CMs, other detained leaders
  • The Opposition on Monday issued a statement demanding the immediate release of all political detainees in Jammu and Kashmir, especially three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

  • In the statement, the Opposition alleged that 'democratic dissent is being muzzled by coercive administrative action' under the Narendra Modi government

  • Nothing exemplifies this more starkly than the continuing detention on "flimsiest of grounds" of three former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers for over seven months, said the statement.

The Opposition on Monday issued a joint statement demanding the immediate release of all political detainees in Jammu and Kashmir, especially three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

The statement has been jointly issued by former prime minister HD Deve Gowda of the JD(S), West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee (TMC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja, CPM's  Sitaram Yechury and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Jha.

Several mainstream politicians, including former chief minister Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti were taken into preventive custody ahead of the Centre's announcement on abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution on 5 August last year. Omar and Mufti have also been booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

In the statement, the Opposition alleged that "democratic dissent is being muzzled by coercive administrative action" under the Narendra Modi-led government, which has 'threatened the constitutional ideals of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.' The statement added, "There are growing assaults on democratic norms, fundamental rights and civic liberties of citizens. As a result, dissent is not only being stifled, but the avenues of raising critical voices are also being systematically muted."

Observing that the ruling BJP had in the past allied with all three leaders, the statement said, "Nothing exemplifies this more starkly than the continuing detention on 'flimsiest of grounds' of three former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers for over seven months. There is nothing in the past records of these three leaders to lend credence to the Modi government's false and self-serving claim that they pose a threat to 'public safety' in Jammu and Kashmir or that they have endangered national interests with their activities."

The indefinite detention of the three former chief ministers and other activists is a "blatant violation of their fundamental rights", said the statement while also drawing attention to the "prolonged lockdown of the state" since 5 August, 2019. This exposed the "oft-repeated lie" that the situation in the state is completely normal, said the statement.

The Opposition parties demanded the immediate release of the three former chief ministers and all other political leaders and also demanded for the "complete and verifiable" restoration of the rights of the people of Kashmir.

With inputs from agencies

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