Outrage over detention of senior Kashmiri MP

18 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

SRINAGAR: The detention of a veteran Kashmiri parliamentarian and former chief minister under a controversial law has generated heated debate in India, reports BBC.

Farooq Abdullah is now detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA), which among other things, allows detention without formal charge for two years.

He had previously been under house arrest along with other leaders ahead of a move to strip Kashmir of its special status in August.

His detention has been criticised. Many, including veteran journalists and politicians, have condemned the move as “draconian” and argued that it sets a dangerous precedent.

“If an 81-year-old politician is seen as a threat to public safety then it flies in the face of the government claim that the situation in the Kashmir valley is returning to normal,” senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai said in a television programme that is being widely shared on social media.

The leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM) Sitaram Yechury called the decision a “cowardly afterthought” and said that Abdullah had “supported India through thick and thin”. Salman Khurshid, a leader with the main opposition Congress party, said that Abdullah had “upheld the unity and integrity” of India.

Regional politician MK Stalin tweeted that the move was “excessive, arbitrary and unlawful”.

The announcement that Abdullah would now be detained under the PSA came hours after a regional politician from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Vaiko, filed an application in the Supreme Court, asking for Abdullah to be produced before the court.

He had said that there were “competing claims” about where Abdullah - a member of India’s upper house of parliament - was.