AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, voicing sturdy opposition to NC patron Farooq Abdullah's detainment under Public Safety Act has challenged the government's claim of 'normalcy' in Kashmir. While doing so, Owaisi questioned as to how a former chief minister could be a threat to the public, and subsequently raised objections over PM Modi's meeting with Farooq Abdullah and NC vice president Omar Abdullah on August 1, days before the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir.
He said, "Prime Minister met Farooq Abdullah before the government scrapped Article 370, the world saw it, then how can the Public Safety Act be imposed on Farooq Abdullah? How is he a threat to the nation? When the Prime Minister had a threat from him, why did he meet Farooq Abdullah?"
Owaisi, the Hyderabad MP, even questioned if Home Minister Amit Shah was untruthful on August 6, when he 'shouted' in the Parliament that Farooq Abdullah was not under house arrest, but at his residence by choice.
He said, "Amit Shah was shouting in the Parliament that he was neither detained or arrested, now you tell us, were you lying? Thirdly, Masarat Alam is a known separatist and Farooq Abdullah is an ex-chief minister, so you've (government) put both Farooq Abdullah and Masarat Alam on the same page by imposing PSA. A draconian act is being used against the ex-chief minister, are you scared of an 80-year-old man? This means that there is no normalcy in Kashmir, you are lying. If PSA has been imposed on an 80-year-old ex-chief minister, where is the normalcy? This is clear that you've messed up there."
On Sunday night, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah was detained under PSA after being on house arrest since the abrogation of Article 370.
As per the PSA provisions, the government could detain a person for up to two years, although, for 'first-time offenders' the length of the detention is limited to six months. However, in the case of "no improvement in the conduct of the detainee," the detention can be extended to its full course of two years. The PSA act was initially promulgated during Sheikh Abdullah, the father of Farooq Abdullah's tenure.
National Conference delegation, led by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, met PM Modi on August 1 and asked him to hold Assembly elections in the State before the year-end. Speaking to media after the meeting which lasted for about 20 minutes, Omar Abdullah said the NC leaders spoke to PM Modi about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and urged him to not take any step, constitutionally or legally, that would deteriorate the situation in the state. On being questioned about what kind of steps, the Abdullah kin named Article 35A and Article 370 among other issues.
Home Minister Amit Shah during the Parliament session on August 6, a day after the abrogation of Article 370, claimed that Farooq Abdullah was not put under house arrest but was at home, enjoying. When questioned over Abdullah's absence, Shah added that if the NC chief does not want to come, he cannot be brought to the Lok Sabha on 'gunpoint.'
Home Minister said, "I have made it clear thrice, Farooq Abdullah ji is at his home, he is not under house arrest, he is not under detention. He is in good health, mauj-masti mein hain, unko nahi ana hai toh gun kanpatti par rakh kar bahar nahi la sakte hum." (he is enjoying, if he doesn't want to come, we can't bring him on gunpoint)
However, hours later, a disgruntled Farooq Abdullah accused the Home Minister of lying saying, "My son is in jail. And I don't know how many more poor people will be in jail. I think this is the price we need to pay to make India democratic. Home Minister is lying in the Parliament that I'm not house-arrested, that I am staying inside my house at my own will. Why would I stay inside my house on my own will when my state is being burnt, when my people are being executed in jails? This is not the India I believe in."