Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Congress Chairperson Farooq Abdullah on Friday hit out at the Narendra Modi-led government over its move to strip the erstwhile state of its special status under Article 370. In an exclusive interview to NDTV, Abdullah said that the Centre cannot be trusted anymore and accused the administration of lying regularly.

Abdullah claimed that he had met Modi a day before the Centre deployed a huge number of paramilitary troops to Kashmir last year, and the latter gave him no indication of the drastic changes that were about to take place in the region. “It just came out of the blue,” Abdullah said. “I had met the PM [Modi] a day before, he had given us no indication. I told him so many troops had been moved in, what was the need? Tourists were being pushed out, the [Amarnath] yatra had been cancelled. All this was if it was war with Pakistan or something.”

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said Modi did not tell him anything about the Centre’s plans. “But he said other things that I don’t think I should say anything [about] at this point,” he added. “He was absolutely kind and nice and unbelievable.”

Abdullah said Modi must be more honest about his decisions and face the facts. “He knows what he did was not right,” he said.

Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and several other political leaders in Kashmir were detained after the Centre revoked the region’s special status on August 5, 2019. They were also charged under the stringent Public Safety Act. Farooq Abdullah was released on March 13 while Omar Abdullah was freed from detention on March 24. Mufti still remains in detention.

The senior leader said that he came to know about the Centre’s decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status only through his detention. “Anybody who is here was wonderstruck,” he said. “It was only when I was closed in and [was] informed by my police that I can’t go out that I realised.”

Abdullah told NDTV that he had to beg to even visit doctors while he was in detention. “My phones were cut, the only thing I had was TV,” he added. “Being an MP, I was supposed to have a phone. I wanted to speak to my daughter in England but I couldn’t talk to her.”

Abdullah also attacked the Centre for bringing foreign parliamentarians to Kashmir. “Delegations were stopped from coming here,” he said. “They got puppets from EU [European Union], from US to go around Dal Lake, have their Goshtaba and claim everything is hunky dory,” he said.

On Thursday, Abdullah held a meeting with National Conference leaders at his residence, where he said that he will review the political agenda for Jammu and Kashmir only after all the detained leaders are released. Abdullah had also called a meeting of several political parties at his residence on August 5, but the Jammu and Kashmir administration did not allow it.

Also read:

  1. What exactly did the August 5 decisions achieve in Jammu and Kashmir?
  2. J&K: ‘Are we animals in a cage?’ asks Iltija Mufti on Mehbooba Mufti’s detention, Article 370 move