NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that the government was trying to "remove" nationalist leaders like former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah "to create political vacuum" which, he noted, will be filled by terrorists.
He also said that the government wanted to "permanently" use Kashmir as a vehicle to divide the country on communal lines.
"It's obvious that the Government is trying to remove nationalist leaders like Farooq Abdullahji to create a political vacuum in Jammu and Kashmir that will be filled by terrorists. Kashmir can then permanently be used as a political instrument to polarise the rest of India," Gandhi said in a tweet.
Gandhi called upon the government to release all "nationalist leaders" who are under house arrest or detention in Jammu and Kashmir after Article 370 was was repealed.
"The government should stop creating space for terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and release all nationalist leaders ASAP," he added.
Abdullah was on Sunday night booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA). The 81-year-old National Conference leader has been under house arrest since last month.