Satya Pal Malik, the Governor of Jammu of Kashmir justified the detention of mainstream politicians -- NC chief Farooq Abdullah, NC vice president Omar Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti. JKPC president Sajad Lone and others, subsequent to the abrogation of Article 370, that withdrew the special status of the state.
Addressing his first press conference following the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, Governor Satya Pal Malik stated that the more politicians spend times in jail, the more political surplus they are likely to accrue, when he was questioned over the timeline for their release. He further overstated that he himself has gone to jail 30 times and spending six months behind the bars.
PTI quoted the Governor saying, "Don't you want that people should become leaders. I have gone to jail 30 times. Those who will go to jail, will become leaders. Let them be there. The more they spend time in the jail, the more they will claim during elections...that I have spent six months behind bars"
"So if you sympathise with them, do not be sad over detention. And they all are in their homes. I was jailed in Fatehgarh during the Emergency where it used to take two days to reach. If someone is detained in any issue, if he is wise, he will take political benefit. I am wishing them well," the Satya Pal Malik added.
While the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah is at home, his son, Omar Abdullah has been detained at Hari Niwas guest house and Mehbooba Mufti at Chesmashahi hut. The other politicians have been kept at Centaur Hotel located on the banks of Dal Lake.
A dozen of Opposition political parties including Congress, DMK and Trinamool protested on Thursday to show their solidarity towards the detained mainstream pro-India leaders of Jammu and Kashmir- former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti, JKPC president Sajad Lone, and others, and demanded their release.
Former CM of Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, SP leader Ramgopal Yadav, J&KPM leader Shehla Rashid, LJD's Sharad Yadav, RJD's Manoj Jha and Trinamool's Dinesh Trivedi were among the attendees.
Taking matters in their hands, a delegation of Opposition leaders led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited Srinagar on Saturday. However, they were sent back from Srinagar airport to New Delhi citing 'security concerns'.
The delegation included Congress former chief Rahul Gandhi, Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, CPI's D Raja, CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury and RJD's Manoj Jha. On Tuesday, Governor Satya Pal Malik accused the Gandhi scion of "playing politics" over his invitation to the Kashmir valley. Satya Pal Malik moreover, withdrew the invitation earlier extended to the former Congress president.
"When Rahul Gandhi played such kind of politics with my invitation, I withdrew my invitation. And it was now a prerogative of the administration to decide whther Tahul Gandhi should visit Kashmir or not."
Prior to the Wayanad MP's visit to Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik and Rahul Gandhi engaged in a skirmish over the Kashmir visit.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan. India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality. Subsequent to the abrogation, Jammu and Kashmir was put under a communication lockdown over security concerns and mainstream Opposition leaders like PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, NC leader Omar Abdullah, JKPC president Sajad Lone and others still remain detained.
(With PTI inputs)