Rahul decries Farooq’s arrest

NEW DELHI, Sept 17: The opposition Congress today launched a scathing attack on the Centre over the detention of Farooq Abdullah under the PSA, with Rahul Gandhi saying nationalist leaders like the NC chief were being removed to create a political vacuum in Jammu and Kashmir and use the Valley to polarise the rest of India.
Gandhi also demanded that the Government should immediately release all nationalist leaders and “stop creating a space for terrorists” in Jammu and Kashmir.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal questioned whether the step to invoke PSA against Abdullah after 43 days was prompted by MDMK chief Vaiko’s plea in the Supreme Court seeking a directive that the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister be produced before it.
“If no danger to public safety then, why now? Because Vaiko filed petition,?” Sibal tweeted.
Abdullah has now been detained under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), which enables authorities to detain any individual for two years without trial.
The 81-year-old National Conference leader was in preventive detention, which was an unofficial house arrest, since August 5.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said no one in the Valley was more devoted to the idea of a united India than Abdullah.
“I have asked my family to tweet on my behalf the following: I condemn the detention of Shri Farooq Abdullah under PSA. There is no one in Kashmir more devoted to the idea of a united India of which J&K is an integral part than Shri Farooq Abdullah,” Chidambaram, who is lodged in Tihar Jail here on corruption charges, said on Twitter.
Reacting to a news report on Abdullah’s arrest, Chidambaram’s son and Congress MP Karti Chidambaram tweeted: “Nazi Nazi Nazi.”
Assam Congress leader Tarun Gogoi called it a blatant misuse of power and threat to the survival of democracy in the country. (PTI)