Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government over detention of National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah under Public Safety Act, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused the Centre of “trying to remove nationalist leaders”.
Taking to microblogging site Twitter, the Gandhi scion alleged that the Modi government was making attempts to “create a political vacuum in Jammu and Kashmir”, adding that the same would be “filled by terrorists”.
He further claimed that with the move to detain political leaders in the region, the government would be able to “use” Kashmir as a “political instrument to polarise the rest of India”.
“It’s obvious that the Government is trying to remove nationalist leaders like Farooq Abdullah Ji to create a political vacuum in Jammu & Kashmir that will be filled by terrorists. Kashmir can then permanently be used as a political instrument to polarise the rest of India,” tweeted the Congress leader.
Demanding immediate release of leaders, Rahul further tweeted, “The Government should stop creating space for terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir and release all nationalist leaders ASAP.”
The move to detain former chief minister Farooq Abdullah under PSA has led to uproar by all opposition parties, who have accused the Modi government of ulterior motive.
CPM leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami, who was recently moved from Kashmir to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the national capital for treatment, also targeted the government over the issue.
In an interaction with mediapersons, Tarigami said that “Farooq is not a terrorist”, demanding his release at the earliest. He added, “The current situation (in Jammu and Kashmir) is very disturbing.”
All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi also attacked the government over the National Conference leader's detention, asking, "Does the government fear a former chief minister?" He pointed that same charges had been imposed on separatist Masarat Alam and former CM Abdullah.
Claiming that "nothing is normal" in Jammu and Kashmir, Owaisi said the fact that a former chief minister (Ghulam Nabi Azad) was seeking Supreme Court's nod before going to his home state suggests that all in now well.
The decision to detain Abdullah under PSA was taken on Sunday night. He had been under house arrest since August 5, when the Centre announced the decision to abrogate Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Under PSA, the government gets the power to detain a person for up to two years without a trial. Though Abdullah has been detained under PSA, there will be no bar on him meeting relatives and friends at his Srinagar residence, which has been converted into a subsidiary jail.