‘Had to break the door’: Farooq Abdullah on Amit Shah’s ‘no arrest’ statement
The debate in Lok Sabha on the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and the bifurcation of the state on Tuesday was interspersed with claims and counter-claims on Valley leader and Srinagar lawmaker Farooq Abdullah’s whereabouts.
Late afternoon, the National Conference leader finally made an appearance asserting that he has been put under house arrest. “Dictatorial authority has been invoked and not a democratic authority that we thought they will invoke. I don’t know how many have been arrested. Nobody is allowed to come in or go out, we are under house arrest,” he said, reports PTI.
In an emotional outburst, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said he “broke the door” to come out and speak to the media. On Article 370, Abdullah said it had been guaranteed by India’s Constitution.
Farooq Abdullah cries house arrest, Amit Shah denies in Lok Sabha
Speaking to news channels, he said: “I am not allowed to go out and come out of the house…I feel sad that Home Minister can lie like this.”
Earlier, NCP’s Supriya Sule and DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran demanded to know where the lawmaker from Srinagar was on the day the Lok Sabha was debating crucial legislations related to his state.
Reading out from the Rule Book, Maran said that it is mandatory that the Speaker is informed in case a sitting member is arrested but there no information on the Lok Sabha member from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah.
“I sit on seat 462, Farooq Abdullah sits on seat 461. He’s elected from J&K, we can’t hear him today. This debate will be incomplete if you ask me,” Sule said.
Responding, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Kashmir leader was at his home in the Valley. “Farooq Abdullah has neither been detained nor arrested. He’s at his home, out of his own free will,” Shah said.
The Kashmir Valley is under unprecedented security with reports suggesting that a few leaders have been arrested. Prohibitory orders have been imposed in the Valley and all communication – Internet, mobile, landline – snapped. All tourists and pilgrims as well as students at the NIT were told to immediately leave the state.