Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, who were under house arrest since Sunday night, have been arrested, officials said on Monday.
People's Conference chairman and former BJP ally, Sajjad Lone, along with Imran Ansari was also taken into custody later on Monday evening. Some more arrests have been made, the officials said, without sharing details. Lone
The arrests came hours after the Centre announced the scrapping of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and also proposed bifurcation of the state.
Sources said Mehbooba was arrested on the orders of the Executive Magistrate in Srinagar and shifted to Hari Niwas guest house.
In his order, the First Class Executive Magistrate cited apprehensions of law and order situation and breach of peace and tranquility in Kashmir.
"Your (Mufti) activities are likely to cause breach of peace keeping into consideration your recent activities that may likely lead to serious law and order situation and breach of peace and tranquillity in Kashmir," the order said.
It said Mehbooba and her party activists were about to proceed in a procession in public which could threaten law and order. "Keeping into consideration the present situation in Kashmir...I do hereby immediately order your detention," said the Executive Magistrate.
Earlier in the day, Mufti described scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution which gave special status to the state as the "blackest day in Indian democracy". The government earlier in the day revoked the state's special status, provided under Article 370, via a Presidential order.
Hitting out at the government, Mufti in an audio message on Twitter said Parliament which gave a lot to Jammu and Kashmir "has snatched everything from it like thieves". "Today is the blackest day in Indian democracy. The Indian Parliament just like thieves today snatched everything it has given," she said.
She said the security forces were increased in Jammu and Kashmir in recent days on the pretext of security threats to the Amarnath Yatra and tourists from Pakistan. "Such a big country got frightened ... and made Kashmir an open jail so that no one can raise voice against the illegal proposal," she said.
"Today people of Jammu and Kashmir are forced to think that the decision of our leaders to reject Pakistan and join India was not right. The conditions with which we joined them have been broken by India. For the respect and dignity of Kashmir, we have no other way," she added.
The PDP leader also said that the decision to revoke Article 370 will have "catastrophic consequences". "The decision of the J&K leadership to reject the two-nation theory in 1947 and align with India has backfired. Unilateral decision of GOI to scrap Article 370 is illegal and unconstitutional which will make India an occupational force in J&K," she wrote on Twitter.
"It will have catastrophic consequences for the subcontinent. GOI's intentions are clear. They want the territory of J&K by terrorising its people. India has failed Kashmir in keeping its promises," she said.
Omar Abdullah, who is also the vice-president of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, who was put under house arrest Sunday midnight, said that the government’s decision was “unilateral and shocking” and was a “total betrayal” of the trust that the people of the state had reposed in India when it acceded in 1947.
On Sunday evening, he wrote on Twitter saying that he had been informed that an "unofficial curfew" was about to begin in the Valley and mainstream leaders were going to be detained or kept under house arrest.
"If officers in the state government are to be believed mobile internet is going down now, an unofficial curfew is going to start and mainstream leaders are going to be detained. No idea who to believe and where this is heading," he tweeted.
"I believe I’m being placed under house arrest from midnight tonight & the process has already started for other mainstream leaders. No way of knowing if this is true but if it is then I’ll see all of you on the other side of whatever is in store. Allah save us," the NC leader had said.
Earlier on Sunday, leaders of the mainstream political parties in Kashmir held an all-party meeting in Srinagar to discuss the prevailing situation.