The Opposition on Monday demanded the immediate release of all political detainees in Jammu and Kashmir, especially three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti.
"There are growing assaults on democratic norms, fundamental rights and civic liberties of citizens," a joint statement by Opposition leaders said. "As a result, dissent is not only being stifled, but the avenues of raising critical voices are also being systematically muted."
Nothing exemplifies this more starkly than the continuing detention on "flimsiest of grounds" of three former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers for over seven months.
"There is nothing in the past records of these three leaders to lend credence to the Modi government's false and self-serving claim that they pose a threat to 'public safety' in J&K or that they have endangered national interests with their activities," they added.
The three former CMs have been booked under the stringent Public Safety Act -- a law that allows the authorities to detain a person for two years without a trial.
The politicians across Jammu and Kashmir were detained on August 5, hours before the Centre revoked erstwhile state's special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
While the administration has releases several politicians, the top-rung politicians continue to be in detention. The Centre has put the onus of their release on the local administration.
(With PTI Inputs)