‘Not detained, yet not free’: Omar underlines paradox, questions government stand
Abdullahs have filed petitions seeking release of 16 National Conference leaders from alleged illegal detention, which the government denies.Updated: Aug 11, 2020 19:43 IST
National Conference leader and former chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, has questioned the Union Territory administration for denying it had detained several regional political leaders including those from the NC and for submitting that they had freedom to move while following certain restrictions for their own safety.
The administration made the claim on Tuesday before J&K High Court while replying to a bunch of habeas corpus petitions filed by NC president Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah seeking release of 16 party leaders.
Omar responded to the claims by saying that similar claims made by the administration last month before the Supreme Court in the case of senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz had “exposed the lies”.
‘“None of them are detained’ yet none of them are free to leave their homes. If it’s about their security, then how come the same “precautions” aren’t taken for BJP and Apni party leaders? Soz Sb exposed the lies of the administration when they took a similar line in the SC,” Omar tweeted.
Earlier on July 31, Saifuddin Soz, a five-time member of Parliament and a former Union minister, accused the administration of falsely telling the SC that he was a free man. Soz said he was in detention since August 5 after the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories. A video showing Soz being restrained and being pulled away by security personnel while talking to journalists on the other side of the boundary wall of his Srinagar house, also went viral.
Soz has also termed his detention illegal alleging he had not been served with any official order to the effect despite several requests. He has indicated that he will challenge the administration’s submissions made in the SC through his lawyers.
Omar’s and his father’s petitions are seeking release of NC general secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar, provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, senior leader Aga Syed Mehmood and party’s chief spokesman Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi among the 16 leaders allegedly being detained at their residences illegally.
The J&K administration today told the high court that no order of detention either under preventive detention law or substantive law was issued against any of the 16 leaders named by Abdullahs and added that they were free to move with certain precautions “as deemed fit” for their security.
Omar, however, did not buy the argument and asked why the restrictive security cover was being provided selectively to some leaders and not to others. He also alleged that that the recent attacks on BJP workers in the region showed that the police was failing in its primary duty.
“The administration is failing in the task of providing security to political workers, evidenced by the spree of attacks against BJP workers, because the police are too busy being jailers rather than protectors. Security is NO reason to detain people in their homes,” Omar’s second tweet said.
Five BJP leaders have been killed and two others critically injured in separate attacks in the valley over the past one month, while another leader escaped a grenade attack on his house in Tral in Pulwama district on Monday.