‘Couldn’t recognise’: Mamata expresses disbelief, tweets Omar’s picture in beard
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted a picture of former Chief Minister of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and detained National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Saturday and said she found it difficult to believe that it was him in the picture.
Mamata’s reaction was perhaps due to the long white beard, Omar is seen sporting in the picture. It is not clear if the picture was taken recently, but Mamata associated it with the long time the leader has spent in detention since August 4, the day before Centre moved to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
“I could not recognize Omar in this picture. Am feeling sad. Unfortunate that this is happening in our democratic country. When will this end?” Mamata tweeted.
Mamata and other opposition leaders have criticised the Central government for detaining leaders like Omar and Farooq Abdullah and demanded that they are released soonest.
Omar was detained along with two other former Chief Ministers, Farooq Abdullah, also his father, and Mehbooba Mufti, and hundreds of other political leaders and activists. A lockdown and information blackout was also imposed in the region to prevent protests against the nullification. Most of the restrictions have since been relaxed and several political leaders have been released, but Omar and some other top politicians remain in preventive custody.
Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have been under detention at two government bungalows but sources privy to developments had recently said that Omar will be moved to his residence at Srinagar’s Gupkar area shortly.
NC president and Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah continues to be in detention at his Gupkar house which is next door to Omar’s.
Mehbooba Mufti who was also lodged at Hari Niwas was later shifted to a rest house at Chesma Shahi on the foothills of Zabarwan mountains. Last month, she was shifted to an official house at Maulana Azad road close to MLA hostel. Mehooba’s daughter Iltija Mufti had recently alleged that the former CMs’ were kept in solitary confinement as the government wants to break their resolve.
Last week a group of former ministers and legislators had met Lt Governor, G C Marmu and group of 16 foreign envoys.
In both the meetings these leaders led by the former minister, Altaf Bukhari had advocated the release of three former CMs from their detention.
Last month, the Jammu and Kashmir administration released five politicians, including a former state minister and three former legislators.