Two former chief ministers of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region said on Sunday they were locked up in their homes by authorities.
“We get locked up in our homes with no explanation. It’s bad enough they’ve locked my father [a sitting member of parliament] and me in our home, they’ve locked my sister and her kids in their home as well,” Omar Abdullah, who served as the region’s chief minister from 2009 to 2015, tweeted.
He also shared a picture of a bulletproof police truck stationed outside his home at Gupkar, where the power elite of the region resides.
His father, Farooq Abdullah, was the chief minister of the erstwhile state thrice in 1982-84, 1986-90, and 1996-2002.
Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed both in full. Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars, two of them over Kashmir. Some groups have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or unification with neighboring Pakistan.
“The move is arbitrary and condemnable,” Imran Nabi, the spokesman for the National Conference party, told Anadolu Agency. We were not informed of this “incomprehensible action,” he added.
The police, however, said in a statement that in the wake of the second anniversary of the Feb. 14, 2019 highway bombing, in which 40 Indian soldiers were killed, they had received “adverse inputs” and the “movement of VIPs and protected persons has been discouraged and all concerned were informed in advance not to plan a tour today.”
In the run-up to Aug. 5, 2019, the day India scrapped the region’s political autonomy, hundreds of pro-India and pro-freedom politicians and activists were either jailed or detained in their homes. Omar and Farooq were released in March 2020.
Nayeem Akhtar and Sartaj Madni, former ministers of the People’s Democratic Party, besides other top party functionaries, are currently under detention.