Opposition leaders on Friday criticised the union government for invoking the Public Safety Act (PSA) against former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra stating that ‘the leaders deserved to be freed and not incarcerated indefinitely’.
In a series of tweets, former Finance Minister Chidambaram said detaining someone without charges is the ‘worst abomination of democracy’.
“On what basis has PSA been slapped on Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti? They upheld the Constitution of India, abided by the democratic process, stood up to separatists, and never ascribed to violence and divisiveness. They deserve to be freed, not incarcerated indefinitely without any basis,” Ms Vadra said on Twitter.
“Shocked and devastated by the cruel invocation of the Public Safety Act against Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and others,” Mr Chidambaram .
“Detention without charges is the worst abomination in a democracy. When unjust laws are passed or unjust laws are invoked, what option do the people have than to protest peacefully?” he asked.
Taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Parliament speech o Thursday, he said, “the PM says that protests will lead to anarchy and laws passed by Parliament and legislatures must be obeyed. He has forgotten history and the inspiring examples of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela”.
The CPI (M) Polit Bureau too issued a statement strongly condemning the decision and demanded the immediate release of the Ms Mufti and Mr Abdullah.
The party said Prime Minister Narendra Modi attributed wrong statements to Mr Abdullah and Ms Mufti as they statements were picked from a Twitter handle of a satire website “Faking News”.
“That the Modi government should take recourse to such false news for slapping the notorious PSA belies the claims that ‘everything is normal in J&K’. Thousands continue to be detained even after six months. The day to day activity in J&K has been disrupted and it's an affront to the Indian Constitution and democracy,” read the statement.
Congress’ official twitter handle mocked Mr Modi and said, “This is what happens when the only degree you have is from WhatsApp University”.