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Farooq Abdullah's Detention Under PSA Yet Another Assault on Democracy, Says National Conference

The NC leaders said that by resorting to 'undemocratic, unethical and unconstitutional measures', the government of the time cannot muzzle the representative voice of the people of J&K.

PTI

Updated:September 17, 2019, 7:25 PM IST
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Farooq Abdullah's Detention Under PSA Yet Another Assault on Democracy, Says National Conference
File photo of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah.

Jammu: Strongly condemning the detention of party president Farooq Abdullah under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), the National Conference on Tuesday described the "repressive act" as "yet another assault on the democratic polity and ethos" of the world's largest democracy.

"What could be the lowest depth of the political bankruptcy of the present ruling dispensation than slapping of PSA on one of the tallest leaders of the country, a five time Chief Minister, a sitting Member Parliament and a former minister at the Centre, said a statement issued from NC headquarters at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here.

The statement, issued by over 58 prominent leaders including some former legislators and ministers of Jammu region, said the detention of the veteran visionary leader speaks of the "desperation of the government that has failed to contain the situation post revocation of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir (on August 5).

"The continued detention of political leadership across the state for over 44 days speak volumes about the lack of understanding and insensitivity of the present ruling dispensation that has pushed the state into unprecedented crisis," the statement said, alleging that the people stand completely isolated, alienated, marginalised, victimised and disempowered.

The NC leaders said that by resorting to "undemocratic, unethical and unconstitutional measures", the government of the time cannot muzzle the representative voice of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

They questioned the rationale behind slapping of PSA on the "most secular and veteran leader", not only of J&K but the country, after having denied on August 6 and 7 that he was under house arrest — a reference to the statement of Union home minister Amit Shah in parliament.

The NC described the latest "undemocratic representative measure" as "unfortunate and sad".

Expressing concern over the health of Abdullah, the NC leaders cautioned against "inhuman approach of the government that has generated a sense of insecurity among the people as a whole, especially in the wake of indiscriminate arrests, continued restrictions and choking of free speech and liberty."

Senior Assam Congress leader Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday criticised the Centre slapping the stringent PSA on National Conference chairman Farooq Abdullah and called it a blatant misuse of power.

This step by the Centre, which allows authorities to detain an individual for six months without trial, is a threat to the survival of democracy in the country, Gogoi, who is the former Assam chief minister, said in a statement here.

The arrest of the ailing octogenarian Kashmir leader has violated constitutional provisions of liberty and dignity of every citizen of the country, he said.

"The situation has become so serious that even the Supreme Court had to intervene and ask the Centre to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible," Gogoi claimed.

Gogoi said the mishandling of the situation in J&K has led to further deterioration in the state of affairs in that state as restrictions and curbs on rights and privileges of the people along with detention of political leaders continue.

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