On Sunday, former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti completed eight months of incarceration. Her daughter Iltija describes this period as a “twin catastrophe” since “our rights were violated and my mother was taken”.
Stating that the people of Kashmir went from a “military lockdown to a health emergency”, Iltija said this was an ordeal “with no end in sight”.
The PDP president has been under detention since August 5 amid a crackdown on the political leadership in J&K ahead of the revocation of its special status.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Iltija said she last met her mother about a week ago. With the number of COVID-19 cases spiking, she says she doesn’t want to risk infecting her mother. “I have stopped seeing her for now because every time I am visiting her, it’s a risk,” she said.
Iltija also expressed concern about their failure to get a date for a hearing in court. “We filed a Habeas Corpus plea two months ago and we have been trying to get a date since and our lawyers say we may or may not. Typically, a Habeas Corpus plea warrants urgent attention…All the institutions are dragging their feet and it’s disappointing,” she added.
Mehbooba, she said, is “fine physically but the problem with solitary is not physical as much as it is mental and emotional”. “She is emotionally a strong person but I don’t understand the urgency to detain her even at a time like this (COVID-19). Hardcore criminals are being released or given parole across the country, this is a former chief minister and former MP, what is she in jail for,” she asked.