While Home Minister Amit Shah claimed on Tuesday that National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah had “neither been arrested nor detained”, the Kashmiri politician retorted saying he was detained at home against his will.
“I was detained in my house... I feel sad that Home Minister can lie like this,” Abdullah told NDTV.
Abdullah, in light of the manner in which Article 370 was scrapped, said that a “dictatorial” authority had been invoked and not a “democratic” one in Jammu and Kashmir.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said he “broke the door” to come out and speak to the media.
Emphasising that the guarantee of the Article 370 was in India’s Constitution, he said,“dictatorial authority has been invoked and not a democratic authority that we thought they will invoke. I don’t know how many have been arrested. Nobody is allowed to come in or go out, we are under house arrest,” he said.
However, Shah insisted that Abdullah was at home on his own will and was not detained.
Abdullah’s absence from Parliament was brought up by NCP’s Supriya Sule when she told the House that Abdullah, who sits beside her in Parliament, was not present.
“He is neither under detention nor under arrest. He is at his home on his own will,” Shah said in reply.
When Sule wondered whether the National conference leader was unwell, Shah said it was up to the doctors to say. “I can’t carry out the treatment, it was up to doctors,” he said.
Kashmir’s political leaders like Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Sajjad Lone were first held under house arrest, then officially arrested amid Article 370 being scrapped.
The opposition in Lok Sabha on Tuesday accused the government of not consulting “stakeholders” before taking a decision on abrogating provisions of Article 370 which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, a charge rejected by treasury benches which said Parliament represents the will of the people.
Participating in the debate on the resolution for abrogating some provisions of Article 370, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill and the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, opposition members said the decisions should have been taken by the state legislature.
Intervening in the debate, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said Parliament represents 130 crore people. “Who could be a bigger stakeholder,” he shot back.
(With PTI inputs)