India’s democracy is damaged; high time Mehbooba Mufti is released: Rahul Gandhi

She has been in detention for nearly a year since the Centre scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 to abrogate the region’s special status, and split it into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Written by August 2, 2020 12:17

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today said that illegal detention of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is a damage to the Indian democracy.

He said that its time that Mehbooba Mufti is released.

Mufti’s detention under the Public Safety Act was on Friday extended by three more months.

She has been in detention for nearly a year since the Centre scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 to abrogate the region’s special status, and split it into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Earlier, in a series of tweets, Chidambaram said her detention was an assault on the Constitutional rights guaranteed to every citizen. He asked how a 61-year-old former chief minister, a protected person who is “under security guard round the clock”, could be a threat to public safety.

Chidambaram also supported Mufti’s decision to turn down an offer for her release on the condition that she will not speak against the abrogation of Article 370 and said any “self-respecting political leader” would refuse it. “One of the reasons given for her detention – the colour of her party’s flag – was laughable,” he added.

“Why should she undertake not to speak against the abrogation of Art 370?” he asked. “Is it not part of the right to free speech?” The former finance minister pointed out that he is one of the counsel appearing in the Supreme Court challenging the abrogation of Article 370. “[So,]If I speak against Article 370 – as I must – is that a threat to public safety?” he added. “We must collectively raise our voices and demand ‘Free Mehbooba Mufti immediately’.”