As opposition leaders from mainstream political parties in Kashmir were put under house arrest since the abrogation of Article 370 from J&K over 'security concerns', MoS Jitendra Singh elaborated on the facilities allowed to them by Home Minister Amit Shah, amid the dissent of Opposition parties over detainment. In a conversation with Republic Media Network, BJP's Jitendra Singh contrasted the current conditions of house arrest of the former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Farooq, Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti along with other politicians in the valley to that of the former J&K Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah in the Jawaharlal Nehru era. In addition, Jitendra Singh said that the political leaders have been permitted to 'watch video films, use the gym and eat brown bread.'
He said, "On the next day, someone from these parties told me, a leader said that these leaders have been put under house arrest. It was house arrest just for the sake of it but you might be shocked after hearing this."
"I will go back to Nehru, in the entire discussion, I will only quote Congress leaders, when Nehru had to put Sheikh Abdullah under house arrest, he was sent 2000 kilometres away to Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal, Ooty in spite of the fact that he had a close proximity with Nehru with the Sheikh but in spite of that because that is the jurisprudence, Amit Shah ji violated the definition of jurisprudence and gave them all the facilities like you can watch video films, you can go to the gym and you can also eat brown bread," Jitendra Singh added.
The MoS PMO further asked the protesting Opposition leaders in the country against the house arrest to go stage a 'hunger strike' saying, "I mean that apart, when the leader was saying that there are a lot of restrictions so I said that if there are indeed a lot of restrictions, if there is indeed this much pain so you can do one thing that go to the place where they have been put under house arrest and start a hunger strike that till these leaders are not freed, we will sit on a hunger strike but they did not do that too because now they realise that the public sentiment is not in the way that they had actually anticipated."
Moreover, asserted that the Opposition in the Kashmir valley has been deserted by the people. Jitendra Singh said, "People living in Kashmir valley are also not with them, using 370, these parties have done with whatever system they have, they don't have a democratic party system, none of these parties does, the NC, PDP or even the Congress unit of J&K, they are more of I would say henchmen so they used to say that an earthquake will occur, fires will erupt, now they don't even say that because now they are left with no option but to not say anything."
Nearly a month after NC vice president Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti were placed under house arrest, they were granted permission to meet their respective families on September 1. Abdullah and Mufti were placed under house arrest as a 'precautionary measure' in Kashmir.
Omar Abdullah’s sister, Safia and her children, were granted 20 minutes of visiting time on August 31. The visit comes after Safia and her aunt repeatedly visited and sought permission from the Deputy Commissioner’s office to be able to meet him. However, Farooq Abdullah the NC patron and father of Omar Abdullah, has had his request to meet Omar being rejected.
Mehbooba Mufti’s mother and sister were granted permission to meet her at Hari Niwas in August. Mufti was taken into preventive custody after trying to leave her residence despite orders. Reportedly, neither Abdullah nor Mufti had access to news channels and newspapers as of September 1, however, officials have reportedly provided the former chief ministers with a DVD player to watch movies.