National Conference on Tuesday reacted to the arrest of women led by Farooq Abdullah’s sister Suraya Abdullah, and his daughter Safia Abdullah. “The situation has now touched such low depths that even the liberty of the relatives of those in public life is under severe threat,” National Conference said.
"Such harsh measures will further alienate people and delay restoration of normalcy in the Kashmir Valley, which is already reeling under fear psychosis and a sense of insecurity," NC statement issued by the party from Jammu said.
"Being kin of former chief minister should not entail political victimisation, leading to curtailment of liberty and freedom of movement and speech", the statement added.
Jammu and Kashmir Police detained around 13 women including Suraya and Safia as they tried to protest against abrogation of Article 370 and arrest of political leaders in Kashmir on Tuesday morning.
The women have been shifted to Srinagar Central Jail after being charged with violating prohibitory orders under section 144.
Meanwhile, Abdullah’s niece, Dr Nyla Ali Khan, took to Facebook from the United States to condemn the arrest of her mother Suraya and cousin Safia and other women.
“My mother and rest of the women with her, most of whom are highly educated and professional, were first taken to Kothi Bagh Police Station and then to Central Jail, Srinagar," Nyla said.
“The entire group of women was accused of violating Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973, which empowers an executive magistrate to prohibit an assembly of more than 4 people," she added.
She said the women have been put behind bars for the “sin of attempting to peacefully and silently protest the strong-armed methods of Government of India and its appendages.”
“I am incredibly proud of my mother, who is a conventional, religious, and progressive woman. Her work is a powerful assertion of her convictions,” said Dr Nyla who is visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma.
“It isn’t easy for a woman from a political and traditional family to make the transition from her conventional life to social activism, which she has been invested in for two decades," she said.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine