Chidambaram terms extension of Mehbooba Mufti’s detention abuse of law, calls for immediate release
In a series of tweets, the former Union finance minister questioned how former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, who he said is a “protected person under security guard round the clock”, can be a threat to public safety.Updated: Aug 01, 2020 12:00 IST
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday condemned the extension of PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti’s detention, saying the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir administration was an “assault” on people’s constitutional rights.
Mufti, the Peoples Democratic Party’s chief, has been held in detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA) since August 5, 2019. The Union territory’s administration has extended her detention by another three months.
In a series of tweets, the former Union finance minister questioned how the 61-year-old former chief minister, who he said is a “protected person under security guard round the clock”, can be a threat to public safety.
“The extension of the detention of Ms Mehbooba Mufti under PSA is an abuse of law and an assault on the Constitutional rights guaranteed to every citizen,” the former Union minister tweeted.
“She rightly rejected the offer to release her on conditions which any self-respecting political leader would refuse. One of the reasons given for her detention — the colour of her party’s flag — was laughable,” he said.
He also asked why Mufti cannot speak against the abrogation of Article 370 and whether it was not a “part of the right to free speech”.
“I am one of the Counsel appearing in a case in the SC challenging the abrogation of Art 370. If I speak against Art 370 — as I must — is that a threat to public safety? We must collectively raise our voices and demand “FREE MEHBOOBA MUFTI IMMEDIATELY,” he added.
The detention order of the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister was scheduled to lapse on August 5. Mufti is among 20-odd political leaders in the Valley who continue to remain under detention.
She will continue to remain under detention at her official residence, which had earlier been declared a subsidiary jail, according to the order issued by the home department. A person can be kept under detention for up to two years under PSA.
However, People’s Conference chief Sajjad Gani Lone was released in Srinagar.
A number of other prominent politicians, including two former chief ministers, Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, have also been released from detention.
They were arrested in August last year, hours after the Centre proposed the revocation of Article 370, which granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and proposed the bifurcation of the state into two Union territories.