Detention of J&K Congress chief ‘outrageously illegal,’ says Chidambaram

Former Union Minister urges courts to act and secure the liberty of citizens

Updated - August 17, 2019 10:16 pm IST

Published - August 17, 2019 12:54 pm IST - New Delhi

P.Chidambaram. File

P.Chidambaram. File

A day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi described the house arrest of the party’s Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir and another party leader in Jammu as ‘madness,’ former Union Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday called it a violation of his fundamental right and urged courts to take note.

“Ghulam Ahmad Mir, PCC President, J&K is under house arrest in Jammu since Friday. There was no written order of detention. Outrageously illegal. The State has no right to deprive a citizen of his liberty for even one moment without authority of law. That is Article 21 of the Constitution.”

“I hope the courts will act and secure the liberty of citizens,” he added.

On Friday, Mr. Mir was put under house arrest in Jammu with restrictions on his movement.

“I strongly condemn the arrest of our J&K PCC Chief, Shri Ghulam Ahmed Mir & spokesperson, Shri Ravinder Sharma in Jammu today. With this unprovoked action against a national political party, the Govt has delivered democracy another body blow. When will this madness end?” asked Mr. Gandhi on Twitter.

Demanding their immediate release along with other leaders like Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the incident “exposed the Union government’s claim of normalcy returning to J&K”.

The Congress claimed that the police had detained Mr. Sharma when he was about to address the media on the party’s plan to celebrate former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s 75th birth anniversary.

The police, on the other hand, maintained that the Congress leaders had been taken into their custody.

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