Invoking draconian PSA for detention of political leader in J&K after six months of their arrest is mockery of democracy

The NDA-government invoking draconian Public Safety Act against five political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir including three former chief ministers, Dr Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti for their detention without any charges is not only shocking but also condemnable. Their detention along with three other senior leaders of National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is the worst abomination of Indian democracy, celebrated as the biggest democracy in the world. Moreover, the manner in which their detention under PSA is being invoked after their house arrest since the midnight of August 4, 2019, when Articles 370 and 35A were read down and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir exposes the calculated designs of the right wing political party at the helm of affairs at the Centre.

The manner in which the PSA detention without any charges were ordered on Thursday evening close on the heels of detentions of three other NC and PDP leaders during the day speaks of the mindset of the ruling NDA. These orders for their detentions have not suddenly come out of the blue, the entire process is being carried out step-by-step on the suspicion of their indulgence in political activities that can threaten the peace in the two UTs. This also exposes the hypocrisy of the central government which is ordering detentions merely on the basis of threat to peace and harmony in the country. On the other hand, the highest court has to intervene even for registration of and FIR against its own ministers and Members of the Parliament, who are exhorting the people to ‘shoot the traitors’, ‘only a bullet make anti-CAA protestors understand’ or branding all those, who are opposing the unjust laws enacted by NDA-government including National Register for Citizens (NRC), National Population Register (NPR) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as ‘terrorists’. The sitting BJP ministers and MPs have equated the Shaheen Bagh protestors as ‘terrorists’ and supports of anti-national elements in the country. Not stopping at this, the sitting ministers and MPs of the ruling party have called a sitting chief minister Arvind Kejriwal a ‘terrorist’ during the elections campaign trails in New Delhi, which goes to polls on February 8, 2020.

Apart from this, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gone ahead with justifying the reading down of Articles 370 and 35A of Indian Constitution, which granted special status to J&K and its people as Permanent Residents. Caring two hoots for the democratic norms, the PM has also justified the communication lockdown, perhaps longest in the world history, besides restrictions to curb dissent in whole J&K for over six months. Though some of the political leaders have been released on selective basis after they furnished undertakings that they will not participate in any political activities that are opposed to the NDA-government’s actions on J&K. Sadly, some of the political leaders, who were part of the PDP-BJP coalition government for over three years were placed under house-arrest immediately after their release from detention early this week. There are many others, who have been under detention without any charges in different jails across the country, irrespective of the fact whether they are senior citizens and ailing since August 4, 2019. Despite the challenge to their detentions, the J&K High Court is yet to announce its judgment for the past many weeks. If this is the situation,

questions have rightly been asked ‘what option do the people have than to protest peacefully if unjust laws are passed and security clampdown is implemented for six months in any part of the country. It is important to note that when the PM says that protests or fear of protests will lead to anarchy and laws passed by the Parliament must be obeyed, he has forgotten the history and inspiring examples of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, who led peaceful resistance and civil disobedience for achieving freedom for the country.