‘Govt determined to embark on misadventure’: Chidambaram condemns ‘house arrests’ of J-K leaders
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday criticised the Centre over the “house arrests” of several leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been on the edge after a massive security build-up and several other restrictions in place on the state’s people.
National Conference leader Oman Abdullah had indicated in a tweet late on Sunday that he along with several local leaders were being placed under house arrested.
“I had warned of a misadventure in J&K. It seems the government is determined to embark upon one,” Chidambaram tweeted on Monday.
“The house arrest of J&K leaders is a signal that the government will defy all democratic norms and principles to achieve its objects. I condemn the house arrests,” he posted.
“Before the day is over we will know if there will be a major crisis in J&K. Keeping my fingers crossed.”
Before this, another Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also tweeted to express solidarity and said he “was not alone”.
“Every Indian democrat will stand with the decent mainstream leaders in Kashmir as you face up to whatever the government has in store for our country. Parliament is still in session & our voices will not be stilled,” Tharoor tweeted.
“What is going on in J&K? Why would leaders be arrested overnight while having done no wrong? If Kashmiris are our citizens &their leaders our partners, surely the mainstream ones must be kept on board while we act against terrorists & separatists? If we alienate them, who’s left? (sic)” he said in another tweet.
Local political leaders have accused the government of creating disquiet in Jammu and Kashmir amid intense speculation that Article 370 and Article 35A, which grant special status to Jammu and Kashmir, could be tweaked.
Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, along with other politicians, had attended an all-party meeting on Sunday over the security situation in the state hours before being placed under house arrest.
Governor Satya Pal Malik has dismissed reports that preparations are being made for an announcement on Article 35A and Article 370 or on the trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir by creating three states of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
Article 35A reserves government employment and property ownership to permanent residents of the state. Article 370 confers special status on Kashmir.