Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said that she has been illegally detained for the third time in less than a fortnight at her residence in Srinagar. The Peoples Democratic Party chief questioned why Bharatiya Janata Party leaders were allowed to campaign freely for the District Development Council elections but her movement was restricted because of security concerns in the Valley.
“Illegally detained today for the third time in less than a fortnight,” Mufti tweeted. “Too much democracy indeed. If my movements are curbed due to ‘security concerns’ then why are BJP ministers allowed to campaign freely in Kashmir, while I’ve been asked to wait until culmination of DDC elections?”
Mufti also shared a photo of a letter to her from the Jammu and Kashmir Police, saying that she cannot go to Budgam due to the prevailing security scenario.
On Tuesday, Mufti said that she was illegally detained at her Gupkar residence and not allowed to visit those evicted from their lands and homes in central Kashmir’s Budgam under the now-nullified Roshni Act. In a video posted on Twitter, she pointed at the locked gates of her residence.
The chief minister had alleged that she was “illegally detained yet again” on November 27 for two days. She claimed that she was restrained from meeting the family of Peoples Democratic Party Youth Wing President Waheed Parra, arrested in a terror case related to suspended Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police, however, had denied that Mufti was put under house arrest, and said that she was requested to postpone her visit to Pulwama to meet Parra’s family “purely due to security reasons”.
Mufti was released from detention after over a year on October 13. She had been in detention under the Public Safety Act since August 5, 2019, the day the Centre abolished the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and bifurcated it into Union Territories, and imposed a complete lockdown.
Almost all of the Kashmir Valley’s political leadership, including two other former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah – were detained last year. Omar Abdullah was released seven months later on March 24 as the Jammu and Kashmir administration revoked his detention order under the Public Safety Act. Farooq Abdullah was released on March 13. People’s Conference chief Sajjad Lone was released in July.