New Delhi (IANS): Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Monday criticised the Narendra Modi-led government for the house arrest of senior political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that it was a signal that the government will defy all democratic norms to achieve its objects.
In a series of tweets, Chidambaram said: “Before the day is over we will know if there will be a major crisis in J&K. Keeping my fingers crossed.
“The house arrest of J&K leaders is a signal that the government will defy all democratic norms and principles to achieve its objects. I condemn the house arrests.”
Slamming the Modi government, Chidambaram said: “I had warned of a misadventure in Jammu and Kashmir. It seems the government is determined to embark upon one.”
His remarks came hours after many senior political leaders including former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, were not allowed to move out of their houses as strict restrictions were imposed in the Kashmir Valley from Monday morning.
Senior Congress leader and former Union Ministers Shashi Tharoor and Jyotiraditya Scindia also condemned the government over its decision to put the political leaders under house arrest.
Tharoor tweeted: “You are not alone Omar Abdullah. Every Indian democrat will stand with the decent mainstream leaders in Kashmir as you face up to whatever the government has in store for our country. Parliament is still in session and our voices will not be stilled.
“What is going on in J&K? Why would leaders be arrested overnight while having done no wrong? If Kashmiris are our citizens and their leaders our partners, surely the mainstream ones must be kept on board while we act against terrorists and separatists? If we alienate them, who’s left?”
Scindia also took to twitter and wrote: “The uncertainty and fear only serves to worsen the situation. Government must be open, transparent, and take people and opposition leaders into confidence.
“Leaders being placed under house arrest overnight while mass hysteria and deployment of troops, both continue to rise. The situation in Kashmir is indeed worrying. The govt must make its intentions clear.”
AMID an unprecedented lockdown and flaring tensions in Jammu and Kashmir, as uncertainty looms large over a build-up of troops in the valley, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) met on Monday for nearly an hour.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met at the PM’s residence.
Their meeting was preceeded by another metting that started an hour earlier in which Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was also present.
The CCS meeting that included Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh lasted for 40 minutes.
It concluded before the Union Cabinet met that included Nitin Gadkari. Sources said that the committee discussed issues of internal security in the Valley.
The meeting comes after political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone, were placed under house arrest as strict restrictions were imposed in the Kashmir Valley from early Monday morning.
The state administration has also imposed Section 144 in Srinagar, as well as in Jammu, while mobile Internet services have also been suspended.
Shah is expected to speak in both Houses of Parliament as Congress MPs Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Ambika Soni and Bhubaneswar Kalita submitted adjournment motion notice in Rajya Sabha over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti will not be allowed to move out of their houses as strict restrictions are imposed in the Kashmir Valley from early Monday morning, police sources said.
National Conference leader Abdullah had earlier on Sunday night expressed apprehension that he was going to be placed under house arrest along with other mainstream leaders, while Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti had called the development “ironic”.
“I believe I’m being placed under house arrest from midnight tonight & the process has already started for other mainstream leaders. No way of knowing if this is true but if it is then I’ll see all of you on the other side of whatever is in store. Allah save us.
“To the people of Kashmir, we don’t know what is in store for us but I am a firm believer that what ever Almighty Allah has planned it is always for the better, we may not see it now but we must never doubt his ways. Good luck to everyone, stay safe & above all PLEASE STAY CALM,” Abdullah said in a series of tweets.
Mehbooba Mufti, who tweeted about hearing “reports about internet being snapped soon including cellular coverage” and “curfew passes being issued”, posted: “God knows what awaits us tomorrow. It’s going to be a long night.”
“In such difficult times, I’d like to assure our people that come what may, we are in this together & will fight it out. Nothing should break our resolve to strive for what’s rightfully ours.”
Subsequently, Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: “How ironic that elected representatives like us who fought for peace are under house arrest. The world watches as people & their voices are being muzzled in J&K. The same Kashmir that chose a secular democratic India is facing oppression of unimaginable magnitude. Wake up India”.