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Grounds to book 2 ex-CMs under PSA shows BJP’s intellectual, moral bankruptcy: Tarigami

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Jammu, Feb 10: CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami termed on Monday the grounds for booking former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti under Public Safety Act (PSA) “hilarious” and said it shows the “intellectual and moral bankruptcy” of the BJP government at the Centre.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah’s “considerable influence” over people, including the ability to attract voters to polling booths despite poll boycott calls and the potential for channelling energies of public for any cause, has been cited in support of his detention under the stringent PSA.

His political opponent and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti has been accused of making anti-national statements and extending support to organisations such as the Jamaat-e-Islami of the state, which has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Tarigami, in a statement here, said, “The PSA dossier of Mehbooba states that the ‘green colour of party (PDP) flag’ reflects radical origin. Was not the colour of PDP flag same when the BJP entered into an alliance with it to share the power in Jammu and Kashmir in March 2015?”

He also said that Omar Abdullah’s PSA dossier states his ability to convince the electorate to vote in huge numbers even during the peak of militancy and poll boycott calls by separatists and militants.

“Is it a crime to have influence over voters and convince them to vote despite threats by militants and separatists?” Tarigami asked and asserted that in a democratic setup every leader has influence over people and voters which is not considered as crime in any part of the country or the world.

“It shows the BJP government has lost the plot in Kashmir and in desperation they are taking such steps,” he said.

The CPI(M) leader said that on one hand the BJP government claims that normalcy has been restored in Jammu and Kashmir after its “unilateral decision to scrap its special status under Article 370” in August, while on the other senior political leaders, including former chief ministers are being slapped with charges under PSA.

“The decisions of the BJP government on Jammu and Kashmir are a violation of the spirit of democracy. It is showing utter disregard for people’s voice and opting brutal methods to suppress dissent,” he said.

In a democracy, people have the right to raise their voices against government policies and register their concern, he said, and urged the democratic forces across the country to raise their voices against this “oppression”.

Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were booked under the PSA on the night of February 06, barely a few hours before their preventive detention was to end. According to rules, preventive detention can be extended beyond six months only if an advisory board, constituted two weeks before the completion of the 180-day period, recommends for that.

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