DMK chief MK Stalin said party MPs would hold a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Thursday, demanding the release of political leaders detained since August 5 in Jammu & Kashmir and urged the parliamentarians of like-minded parties to join them.
Condemning the scrapping of J&K special status, Stalin said in a statement that the detention of family members of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir was “unacceptable”.
Parliamentarians from likeminded parties will participate in the meeting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi at 11 AM on 22nd August to demand the immediate release of Kashmiri political leaders who have been detained by the Union Govt. pic.twitter.com/KkRDCNLQhn
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) August 19, 2019
The remark comes on the backdrop of ltija Mufti, the daughter of former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, writing a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Independence Day seeking clarity on her detention at her Srinagar residence.
“The Central government has isolated Kashmir from India by imposing a curfew, using repressive forces and implementing prohibitory orders. By cutting channels of communication, the government has unnecessarily created a hostile environment,” the DMK statement read.
Besides three former chief ministers and an IAS topper, the list of those detained in Jammu and Kashmir includes a former Union minister, seven former state ministers, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Srinagar, and a number of legislators. Those detained also include lawyers, businessmen, professors, members of the J&K Bar Association and civil society. The state has remained under an unprecedented communications blackout since August 5.
The DMK had also raised the issue of detention of J&K political leaders in the Parliament. DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran had raised a question in Lok Sabha about the absence of Farooq Abdullah during a debate on the government’s decision to end special status to J&K.
“Farooq Abdullah, a member of this House, is missing. He is arrested and we have no intimation. You as a Speaker should protect the members. You should be neutral,” Maran said.
Earlier in the day, the DMK chief had chaired a meeting with party members to discuss the scrapping of special status to J&K. On the day the government announced the decision on J&K, Stalin had called it “murder of democracy”.
“Without consulting people of Jammu and Kashmir, Article 370 has been taken away. Democracy has been murdered. AIADMK is also supporting the decision which is condemnable,” Stalin had said.
On August 8, addressing a public meeting to commemorate the first death anniversary of late party leader M Karunanidhi, Stalin said the Centre wanted to create history by placing Omar Abdullah under house arrest.
“We don’t need anyone to take lessons about patriotism. We stood by the country when there was a threat by China and Pakistan. But now, in the name of patriotism, BJP is provoking communal hatred. If that is what you call as patriotism, I say now, DMK will oppose that at any cost,” the DMK chief had said.