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Mehbooba Mufti was working with separatists: Public Safety Act dossier

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.   | Photo Credit: AFP

The Public Safety Act (PSA) dossier, based on which former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has been booked include public remarks allegedly made by her against the Army, pro-militant tweets and attempts “to collaborate with separatists”.

The Hindu has learnt that the dossier against Ms. Mufti underlines that there were “confidential reports” suggesting she was “collaborating with the separatists”.

It also mentions tweets, where she called for “dignity to militants after death” and accused “the Army of using chemical weapons against them”. The dossier also mentions her tweets opposing the triple talaq law passed by the BJP-led government and critical remarks over the lynching of Muslims in the country.

Public speeches made by Ms. Mufti and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah of the National Conference on the issue of Articles 370 and 35A are also listed in the dossiers compiled against them.

Terming Ms. Mufti “a vocal voice” against the Centre’s move reading down Article 370, the dossier accessed by The Hindu listed a number of speeches made by her and specifically mentioned two controversial speeches.

Explained | What is Article 35A?

In a speech in July 2019, she is cited as having said: “Article 35A kay saath cheed chaad karna barood ko haath laganay kay barabar hoga. Jo haath 35A ke saath chhedd chaadd karne ke liye uthenge wo haath hi nahi wo saara jism jal ke raakh ho jaega.” Asserting that tampering with Article 35A would be akin to lighting a powder keg, she is said to have warned that any such tampering would engulf the hands making such an attempt. 

In another speech, she is claimed to have said: “No one will be left in J&K to unfurl the tricolour if Article 370 goes”.

Explained | The Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act

The dossier used to justify Mr. Abdullah’s detention under PSA also mentions speeches made by him in defence of Articles 370 and 35A in the past few years and warning that any revocation would reopen the debate on the Instrument of Accession.

 

“Mr. Abdullah and Ms. Mufti haven’t been jailed for ‘provocative comments’,” said Ms. Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti. “Their crime was to question the Centre for its illegal actions in J&K. Just because BJP intentionally conflates itself with India doesn’t mean it is India. The message is clear. Criticise BJP at your own peril,” she added. 

NC leader and Member of Parliament Hasnain Masoodi said, “These PSAs belie the claims of normalcy. The PSA is being used to stifle dissent and disagreement, which is at the core of democracy.”

 

PDP spokesman Firdous Tak said the conscientious people of the country and the world should take note of these undemocratic measures. “Will they now book all those who have filed petitions and challenged the Centre’s move to revoke Article 370 and Article 35A?” asked Mr. Tak.

Separately, official sources said security agencies and magistrates were preparing dossiers to book more mainstream politicians under the PSA in the coming days. About 11 political leaders including Ms. Mufti’s close confidant, the PDP’s Naeem Akhtar, and J&K Peoples Movement chief Shah Faesal are still lodged in Srinagar’s MLA Hostel. Many of them will complete their six months of preventive detention under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC on Sunday. Sources said another four leaders were likely to be released soon.

NC’s Ali Muhammad Sagar’s ability to mobilise people to visit polling booths during boycott calls given by the separatists has been made a ground to slap PSA against him. Similarly, PDP’s Sartaj Madni’s ability to influence locals to protest, like in 2009 and 2016, and his having allegedly authored a document on ‘self rule’ are listed as the key grounds for using PSA against him.

Watch | Kashmiri family speaks on shutdown in the Valley
 

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 11:14:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/omar-mehboobas-speeches-on-article-370-cited-as-grounds-for-psa/article30764981.ece

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