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Crackdown on Jamaat ‘arbitrary’: Mehbooba

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Arrests in past have yielded no results, says Sajad Lone

Srinagar, Feb 23: PDP President Mehbooba Mufti Saturday questioned the legality of the crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, saying the “arbitrary” move will only “precipitate matters” in the state.

The former chief minister was reacting to the government crackdown on separatists and Jamaat-e-Islami which began Friday night. JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and over two dozen Jamaat leaders, including its chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz, have already been detained.

“In the past 24 hours, Hurriyat leaders & workers of Jamaat organisation have been arrested. Fail to understand such an arbitrary move which will only precipitate matters in J&K,” Mehbooba tweeted.

“Under what legal grounds are their arrests justified? You can imprison a person but not his ideas,” she said.

The Centre has rushed 100 additional companies of paramilitary forces to Kashmir without assigning any reason for the heavy deployment.

People’s Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone also said such crackdowns in the past have yielded no results.

“Gov (sic) seems to be on an arrest spree. Just a word of caution. Large scale arrests took place in 1990. Leaders were ferried to Jodhpur and many jails across the country. Things worsened. This is a tried tested and failed model. Please desist from it. It won’t work. Things will worsen,” he tweeted.

CPI(M) MLA Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami said the crackdown on and arrests of separatist leaders without any solid legal grounds do not augur well for the state.

“Curbing dissent and those holding a contradictory viewpoint is not democratic at all. On the contrary, such sections should be engaged,” he said.

Hurriyat-M chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also condemned JKLF chief Yasin Malik’s detention and the crackdown on the Jamaat-e-Islami leadership, saying “force and intimidation” will only “worsen” the situation.

“Strongly condemn the nocturnal crackdown on Jamat-e-Islami leadership and cadres and the arrest of Yasin Malik. Such illegal and coercive measures against Kashmiris are futile and will not change realities on ground. Force and intimidation will only worsen the situation,” Mirwaiz posted on Twitter.

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