Former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Saturday questioned the legal grounds of detaining Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) cadres and JKLF leader Yasin Malik, and said, “You can imprison a person but not his ideas.”
Calling the detention an “arbitrary move”, Mufti added, “In the past 24 hours, Hurriyat leaders and workers of Jamaat organisation have been arrested. Fail to understand such an arbitrary move which will only precipitate matters in J&K. Under what legal grounds are their arrests justified? You can imprison a person but not his ideas.”
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The Jammu and Kashmir police Friday evening detained separatist leader Yasin Malik as well as dozens of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) leaders in several parts of the Valley. It came as the Centre ordered the deployment of 100 additional companies of paramilitary forces to the state.
The developments come ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on Article 35A, expected to be taken up on Monday.
Condemning the nocturnal crackdown on JeI leaders, the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed it as “illegal” and “coercive” and said such measures against Kashmiri’s will not change realities on the ground. “Force and intimidation will only worsen the situation,” Farooq said.
The chairman of Peoples Conference Sajad Lone, meanwhile, cautioned the government to desist from arresting Hurriyat leaders as the situation in the valley would worsen.
“Gov seems to be on an arrest spree. Just a word of caution. Large scale arrests took place in 1990. Leaders were ferried to Jodhpur and many jails across the country. Things worsened. This is a tried tested and failed model. Please desist from it. It won’t work. Things will worsen,” Lone wrote on Twitter.