A day after former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was shifted to her residence, it appears that her party -- Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) -- has not changed its stance on the abrogation of Article 370.
“Ms Mufti is home but still booked under PSA. Media wasn’t given access to her at all despite waiting for hours. Is GOI scared that she’ll articulate her views on illegal abrogation of Article 370? Time doesn’t change facts or erase a betrayal etched in memory (sic),” Iltija Mufti, Mehbooba’s daughter, said in a Tweet.
“We, the people of J&K, aren’t allowed to voice our dissent on the unilateral decision to dismember J&K. But top leadership in the country can keep using Article 370 abrogation as political bait,” Iltija said. “Opposing a move that seeks to obliterate our identity has been criminalised. But you can’t wish away the resentment & alienation people feel by criminalising a debate about illegal abrogation of Article 370,” she added.
Spelling out Mehbooba’s plan in case she is released, Iltija said, “When restrictions are finally lifted on Ms Mufti, she will approach all stakeholders for a joint strategy to move forward. She will also speak to the press about her views on what transpired post 5th August.”
The BJP government revoked Article 370 and Article 35A of Indian constitution on August 5 amid lockdown, communication blockade and arrest of thousands of people including three former Chief Ministers, Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. Farooq Abdullah and Omar were released recently after over seven months of detention.
While on Tuesday government shifted Mehbooba Mufti to her residence, Fairview, at the Gupkar road in Srinagar, after turning it into a sub-jail, her detention under the Public Safety Act continues. Mehbooba was initially taken into “preventive custody” on August 5. Minutes before she was taken into custody, she had managed to tweet that after the revocation of Articles 370 and 35A, India will be seen as an “occupational force” in Kashmir.
Soon after his release, Farooq Abdullah said he will not talk on political issues. Omar Abdullah, his son, has also maintained silence on abrogation of Article 370.
However, unlike the Abdullahs, the PDP leader is likely to embark on a vociferous opposition to abrogation of Article 370. “It is time to take a stand and it is time to take a side. Silence is no option. We salute to the commitment of our president Mehbooba Mufti. She is being punished for standing with people. She is being punished for representing sentiments of people. She is being punished for displaying immense courage,” PDP leader Firdous Tak said.
Earlier, the party had criticized the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party for coming up with the domicile law and described the domicile legislation, even in its amended form, as the real intention behind the scrapping of the special status of the erstwhile state. “It’s just another round of deceit and betrayal for people of this trouble-torn region after filching their identity and prestige on August 5. They are being robbed in the middle of the night with the stroke of a pen, without their consultation or opinion,” a PDP statement said.