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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Caged like animals, says Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter

Sana Iltija Javed claimed she had been threatened “with dire consequences” if she spoke up again. The daughter has given several interviews and released voice messages, including to the Hindustan Times, since PDP chief Mufti and NC leader Omar Abdullah were taken into custody on August 4

india Updated: Aug 17, 2019 00:54 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Itija said her grandmother,wife of the late J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, hadn’t been allowed to meet her son, a former minister.
Itija said her grandmother,wife of the late J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, hadn’t been allowed to meet her son, a former minister.(ANI Photo)
         

In a strongly worded letter to home minister Amit Shah, the daughter of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti questioned her detention in her residence although she has no political affiliation, and wrote, “Kashmiris have been caged like animals and deprived of basic human rights.”

Sana Iltija Javed claimed she had been threatened “with dire consequences” if she spoke up again. The daughter has given several interviews and released voice messages, including to the Hindustan Times, since People’s Democratic Party chief Mufti and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah were taken into custody on August 4, a day before the government effectively removed Article 370 which gave Jammu and Kashmir its special status.

“Today while the rest of the country celebrates India’s Independence Day, Kashmiris have been caged like animals and deprived of basic human rights,” she wrote in her letter to Shah on Thursday. She has not been allowed to step out of her home, she said and asked for an explanation for her alleged detention.

“Unfortunately, for reasons best known to you, I also have been placed under detention at my residence. We are not even told when visitors are turned away from the gate and I am not allowed to step out either. Odd, since I am not affiliated to any political party and have always been a law abiding citizen,” she said in a letter that was released to the media, along with a voice message.

Doesn’t a citizen of the “world’ largest democracy,” have the right to speak up in the “face of unimaginable repression,” Iltija asked, adding, “It’s a tragic irony that I am being treated like a war criminal for stating the inconvenient truth,” she said.

“I am being treated like a criminal and I am under constant surveillance. I fear for my life along with those Kashmiris who have spoken up,” Iltija said in the audio message.

Saying it was suffocating and humiliating to be treated in this manner, she wanted to know under which law she had been detained. “Does it warrant a detention to describe our plight? I’d be most obliged If you could kindly throw light on the laws under which I’ve been detained and for how long? Do I need to seek legal recourse?” she wrote in the letter.

She ended her letter, saying, “Apologies for not posting this letter but as you’re aware postal services in Jammu and Kashmir have been suspended.”

Most services including mobiles, landlines and internet have been suspended since August 5 and several leaders taken into custody.

Itija said her grandmother,wife of the late J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, hadn’t been allowed to meet her son, a former minister.

“I have to grovel for permission to allow my aged grandmother to visit her son. Is she also a potential threat? For the world’s largest democracy doesn’t a citizen have right to speak up in the face of unimaginable repression. It’s tragic irony that I am being treated like a war criminal for stating the inconvenient truth,” she wrote.

First Published: Aug 16, 2019 23:42 IST