Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are likely to be put under house arrest by central authorities, NDTV reported late on Sunday night.
Both Abdullah and Mufti also tweeted about the likelihood that they would be put under house arrest, amid reports of a clampdown on public movement and internet services in the state and rumours about what the government in Delhi may have planned for the next few days.
NDTV reported that People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone was also going to be put under house arrest, in addition to the former chief ministers.
Later, he also posted on Twitter.
The moves come after reports of a build-up of security forces in the state. Government sources cited tensions along the Line of Control as being the reason for this increase in troops. Students, pilgrims and tourists have been asked to return home from the state, and there is speculation that a Union Cabinet meeting slated for Monday morning may be connected to the unfolding events.
Officials denied rumours that a curfew had been imposed, but said that section 144 – which prevents public assembly of three or more people – was in force in Srinagar starting midnight, meaning all public institutions will be shut and there is a complete bar on public meetings. ANI also confirmed that cellular and internet services have been partially shut down in the state.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted in response to Omar Abdullah’s post about being put under house arrest, saying that Parliament is still in session and “our voices will not be stilled.”
Later, Omar Abdullah also tweeted calling for restraint and asking people not to take the law into their own hands.
Earlier on Sunday, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah spoke after an all-party meeting of parties in Jammu and Kashmir, saying they would be united to protect the special status of the state, ANI reported. He also appealed to both India and Pakistan to not “take any step that may accelerate the tension between the two countries”.
The meeting was attended by Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Congress’ Taj Mohiuddin, Muzaffar Beig from PDP, Sajad Lone and Imran Ansari from the Peoples Conference, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement leader Shah Faesal and MY Tarigami of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
On Sunday, Home Minister Amit Shah also met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and other top government officials, but details of the meeting have not been disclosed yet.