The Opposition on Monday demanded an immediate release of all political detainees in Jammu and Kashmir, especially three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
The Opposition leaders who made the demand and later issued a joint statement to the media are NCP president Sharad Pawar, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, former PM and JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI chief D Raja, RJD leader Manoj Kumar Jha, former BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie.
"There are growing assaults on democratic norms, fundamental rights and civic liberties of citizens," the joint statement by the leaders said.
"As a result, dissent is not only being stifled, but the avenues of raising critical voices are also being systematically muted.
"Nothing exemplifies this more starkly than the continuing detention on "flimsiest of grounds" of three former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers for over seven months.
"There is nothing in the past records of these three leaders to lend credence to the Modi government's false and self-serving claim that they pose a threat to 'public safety' in J&K or that they have endangered national interests with their activities," they added.