SRINAGAR — The more politicians spend time in jail, the more political dividends they are likely to accrue — was how Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik sought to justify the detention of mainstream politicians after the abrogation of the state’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.
Malik, addressing his first press conference after the Centre announced its move on August 5, was asked about the continued detention of three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — and other politicians and a timeline for their release.
“Don’t you want that people should become leaders. I have gone to jail 30 times. Those who will go to jail, will become leaders. Let them be there. The more they spend time in the jail, the more they will claim during elections...that I have spent six months behind bars...
“So if you sympathise with them, do not be sad over detention. And they all are in their homes. I was jailed in Fatehgarh during the Emergency where it used to take two days to reach. If someone is detained in any issue, if he is wise, he will take political benefit. I am wishing them well,” the governor said.
“Don’t be sad about detention of political leaders, it will help them in their political careers.” he told reporters.
While senior Abdullah is at his home, his son Omar has been kept at Hari Niwas and Mehbooba is at Chesmashahi hut. The other politicians have been kept at Centaur Hotel located on the banks of Dal Lake.