NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday denied the charge of keeping anyone under house arrest in Jammu and Kashmir and added that 223 political leaders remain under detention. These political leaders were imprisoned last year after the Centre scrapped J&K’s special status of by abrogating Article 370 and split the state into two Union Territories.
While some like former chief ministers Omar and Farooq Abdullah have been released, several others including Mehbooba Mufti, remain in detention.
During the monsoon session on Tuesday, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said that in view of the constitutional changes effected by Parliament with regards to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, 2019, various measures were taken to maintain public order which included preventive detention of certain persons.
“As on September 11, 2020, 223 persons are under detention. No person is under house arrest in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” Reddy said, in a written reply to a question by TMC parliamentarian Saugata Roy on ‘detention of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir’.
Reddy further told the parliament that since the erstwhile state was bifurcated, terrorism and militancy in the region have reduced significantly.
“From June 29, 2018 to August 4, 2019 [402 days], there were 455 terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir and from August 5, 2019 to September 9 [402 day], a total of 211 such incidents took place in the newly created Union Territory,” the minister told the Lok Sabha.
Among those who questioned the government’s statement was PDP leader Waheed Ur Rahman who said the government was “blatantly” lying in the Parliament. “It has now been 7 months of house arrest and 6 months of detention for many of us, since 5 August, 2019,” Rahman tweeted.
Another PDP leader Naeem Akhtar slammed Reddy’s statement in Parliament. “There are many categories of lies. Lies, white lies, Data, Judicial lies (spoken on oath), Parliamentary lies: This government excels in all,” he tweeted.
PDP claimed home detention
The Centre’s response came weeks after leaders of Peoples Democratic Party alleged that they were stopped from attending an event on September 3. Some of them had posted videos showing police outside their houses
(With inputs from Fayaz Wani)