Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (File Photo)
Continuing his onslaught against the BJP government over Kashmir issue, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday appealed to the Centre to stop creating space for terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and release all the nationalist leaders like Farooq Abdullah at the earliest. In a veiled attack on the Centre, Gandhi also accused it of making a political vacuum in the Kashmir Valley in a bid to use the region as a permanent instrument of polarising the rest part of India.
"It's obvious that the Government is trying to remove nationalist leaders like Farooq Abdullah Ji 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," the Congress leader tweeted.
It’s obvious that the Government is trying to remove nationalist ðŸ‡®ðŸ‡³ leaders like Farooq Abdullah Ji to create a political vacuum in Jammu & Kashmir that will be filled by terrorists.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 17, 2019
Kashmir can then permanently be used as a political instrument to polarise the rest of India.
"The Government should stop creating space for terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and release all nationalist leaders ASAP," he wrote in another tweet.
The Government should stop creating space for terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir and release all nationalist leaders ASAP.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 17, 2019
Gandhi's statement comes amid reports that Abdullah has now been detained under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), which enables authorities to detain any individual for two years without trial. Abdullah is a three-term chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, five-time parliamentarian and a former union minister.
The 81-year-old National Conference (NC) leader has been under preventive detention since August 5 when the Centre announced abrogation of special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and its bifurcation into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The stringent law was slapped on Abdullah early Monday.
Apart from Abdullah, several other mainstream political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir like former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and People's Conference chief Sajad Lone were detained or arrested in the intervening night of August 4 and August 5, triggering speculations that the Centre is planning something big and unprecendented in Jammu and Kashmir.
The government, however, has maintained that the steps were taken to maintain law and order and prevent any loss of life. Officials say restrictions have since been lifted in Jammu and Ladakh regions, adding that curbs have been eased in the Valley, though mobile and internet services are still suspended.