Article 370 verdict: Kashmir politicians allege house arrest, LG says claim baseless

The Jammu and Kashmir Police issued a cautiously worded statement, clarifying that no arrest orders had been issued. "There is no restriction in the movement," said a statement.

Srinagar/Jammu: Mainstream politicians from Kashmir on Monday shared pictures of chains and locks on gates, alleging that they were under house arrest, a claim rejected by J-K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha as a war of words broke out on a day the Supreme Court upheld the validity of abrogation of Article 370.

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Early Monday, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on X alleged that “Even before the Supreme Court judgement is pronounced, police have sealed the doors of the residence of PDP president @MehboobaMufti and put her under illegal house arrest”.

Following the statement, Sinha at a press conference in Jammu denied the claim and said “no one has been put under house arrest or arrest in all of Jammu and Kashmir”.

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“These claims are completely baseless and an attempt to spread rumours,” the Lt Governor (LG) said and stressed that he was speaking responsibly and confirming that no one had been subjected to house arrest or arrest for political reasons anywhere in the Union Territory.

The apex court upheld the government’s 2019 decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution, which bestowed special status on the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and said steps should be taken to conduct elections in the assembly by September 30 next year.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on X posted pictures of his residence’s main and side gates, along with the message: “Dear Mr. LG, these chains on my gate were not put by me, so why are you denying what your police force has done?”

The leader of the largest regional party also said, “Is it possible that you don’t know what your police are doing? Are you being dishonest, or is your police acting independently of you?”

Journalists were also not permitted to gather near the residences of NC President Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah on Gupkar Road.

A contingent of police personnel was stationed at the entry point, preventing journalists from approaching the NC leaders’ residences. The residences’ main gates were reportedly locked by police in the morning.

“Mr. @OmarAbdullah has been locked up in his house. Democracy?” asked NC’s additional state spokesperson Sara Hayat Shah in a post on X.

While Farooq Abdullah, who is the MP from Srinagar, is currently in Delhi for the ongoing Winter session of Parliament, his son Omar Abdullah is in Kashmir.

Omar Abdullah also took a swipe at Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chief and former Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, saying, “Azad Sb is truly Azad. He’s free to visit his party office while some of us are locked up with our gates chained.”

“Media personnel aren’t being allowed on Gupkar Road to take any reactions from us. Mother of democracy? More like aise taise democracy,” he said on X.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police issued a cautiously worded statement, clarifying that no arrest orders had been issued about the Supreme Court proceedings concerning Article 370 and that there were no restrictions on movement.

“The police have not received any orders to effect any arrests, particularly those related to court proceedings on Article 370 by the apex court,” it said.

“There are no restrictions on movement. Examinations scheduled by different public bodies are proceeding as planned, businesses are open, and transportation is operating,” the statement said.

Police emphasised that the normal life of the common people continued at its usual pace. “While the police remain vigilant against disruptive elements, they have no intention or instructions to curtail freedom of movement and activities,” the Jammu and Kashmir Police asserted in the statement.

The police urged people to carry on with their daily lives and not be influenced or intimidated by social media posts contradicting this information.

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