February 12, 2020

Detentions of dislikes under PSA

The decision to slap Public Safety Act (PSA) on two former chief ministers Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba and four more mainstream leaders for prolonging their detention up to two years is questionable legally as well as political. By all standards of understandabilities neither free political space can be denied nor can PSA be slapped without charges on leaders who have represented the people of Jammu & Kashmir in the parliament the highest law making body of the country. Slapping PSA to continue their six month long detention obviously for two years shows the malafide intentions of the government. The government accusing Omar Abdullah of propagating radical ideology with the capacity to influence voters to come to polling booths for voting in its dossiers shows the contradictions in the words and deeds of the government as none else than the Home Minister Amit Shah recently refuted the reports about government dubbing Abdullahs’ as anti-nationals. As regards the allegations of separatism and provocations against another former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti the people at the helm in the central government took pleasure in allying with Mehbooba without contradicting her responses to the statements of the separatists leaders and the public outrage against the killing of militants and the civilians during 2016 six month long unrest in Kashmir. So the government’s contentions over the charges mentioned in PSA dossiers are full of contradictions. Obviously the government does not have any tangible evidence to substantiate their allegation against both Omar and Mehbooba on posing threat to security , peace and national integrity in Jammu & Kashmir. Irrefutable fact is that Omar, Mehbooba and four other mainstream leaders detained under PSA are punished for their indifference to the decisions taken for withdrawal of special status under article 370 and article 35 A and bifurcation of erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state into two union territories. True it is that Omar and Mehbooba as heads of two biggest regional political parties have the capacity to organis rallies and street protests against the scrapping of special status and bifurcation of the state into two union territories, but the capacity to do so does not qualify them for the prolonged detentions under the draconian public safety act.
The central government by any means can’t overlook the role of both Omar and Mehbooba in keeping the public resentment under check in Kashmir in the most trying times particularly during street protests in the years 2010 and 2016. Punishing Omar, Mehbooba and four other leaders under PSA won’t inspire youth to be part of any new mainstream in Kashmir but would take them away from the mainstream politics. A political alternative to Abdullahs’ and Mufti’s has to be guided by the core public sentiments and aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir but not by the whims and wishes of the incumbent central government. Free political space to all parties and individuals irrespective of their stands on abrogation of article 370 and bifurcation of erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state into two union territories has to be the basis of the revival of fresh political process in Jammu & Kashmir.

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