Farooq Abdullah Says “We are not Criminals” in Letter to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor shares a letter by Farooq Abdullah and cautions against the use of the ‘tool of arrest’ to muzzle Opposition voices.

The leader of the National Conference Farooq Abdullah has expressed his discontent over being kept under watch by the Centre and asserts that he is not a “criminal.” He has expressed his discontent and critique of the Centre’s decision to keep him under house arrest in a letter that he wrote to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. Abdullah’s letter was written as a response to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor letter which he sent in October this year. Abdullah claims that the letter written to him by Abdullah was only given to him much later by a magistrate who looks after him in a sub-jail.

Jammu and Kashmir former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, who is in house arrest , has expressed his deepest discontent in the letter. If one looks at the letter, what is evident is that he is criticising the government for not allowing him to attend the Parliament’s winter session.

He wrote “ Thank you for your letter on 21st October 2019 which has been delivered to me today by magistrate  who looks after me while I am in the sub-jail. It is most unfortunate that they are not able to deliver me my post in time. I am sure this is not the way to treat a senior member of parliament and leader of a political party. We are not criminals.”

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Along with Farooq Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and hundreds of  other political leaders are under arrest in the newly formed union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.The centre asserts that freeing of these political leaders of the erstwhile state could bring about law and order issues in the times to come. 

Shashi Tharoor posted a tweet along with the letter, “ Letter from imprisoned Farooq Saab. Members of Parliament should be allowed to attend the session as a parliamentary privilege. Other wise the tool of arrest could can be used to muzzle opposition voices. Participation in Parliament is essential for democracy and popular sovereignty”.

This letter from a senior political leader from the sub -jail  is the fundamental democratic right of a democratically elected leader, denying senior leader Farooq Abdullah this democratic right goes against the very ethos of a democracy. 

It is to warn against such systems of house-arrest that Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has said that if not checked, the ‘tool of arrest’ could be easily utilised to muzzle the voices of the Opposition.

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday, refused to provide a fixed deadline for the release of political detainees in Jammu and Kashmir. Three former chief minsters of the erstwhile state f Jammu and Kashmir namely Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti are among those  who have been held by the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir. The controversial Public Safety Act was invoked against Farooq Abdullah on September 17, and even today he remains confined in his home. The Centre has claimed that the detention of these political leaders is a precautionary measure.

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