On the first day of the new year, three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir were placed under house arrest. A heavy police truck was left at the door of their house. Chains have been attached to the headquarters. This is to prevent the leaders from sitting peacefully in protest of the reshuffle of assembly seats. All the political parties in the valley are against this ‘tyranny’ of the administration. The ruling BJP is the exception.
The five-party alliance Gupkar Alliance held a peaceful protest on Saturday. Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said that they would peacefully protest against the proposed delimitation commission. After the bifurcation of the state, the commission undertook the task of reorganizing the legislative boundaries of Jammu and Kashmir. Last December, the commission recommended that the total number of seats in the new Union Territory be increased to 90. Of these, 6 seats will be increased in Jammu region. The total number of seats in this region will increase from 36 to 43.
In Kashmir, one seat will be increased to 48. If the proposal is implemented, the number of seats between Jammu and Kashmir will be reduced from 9 to 4. Valley politicians allege that the BJP is moving in this direction to give advantage to Hindu-majority Jammu in forming the government.
All political parties in the valley have opposed the proposal. The commission also rejected the proposal. A peaceful protest was held on Saturday against the proposal. Three former chief ministers were placed under house arrest to thwart it.
Omar Abdullah tweeted about the house arrest on Saturday morning. Welcoming the new year, he wrote, “Some things do not change when the new year begins. In Jammu and Kashmir, people are being kept under house arrest illegally. The administration is also afraid of the normal democratic movement. The police have parked their truck in front of the gate of our house so that the leaders of the alliance cannot sit peacefully. ‘ Along with that he gave another picture, which shows that there is a chain attached to a gate near his father’s residence. Through that gate Farooq Abdullah used to come and go to his daughter’s residence. Omar Abdullah tweeted, “Yet the leaders of the country raise their voices and tell the world that India is the biggest democracy!” Wonder! ‘
Former Chief Minister PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti also tweeted. He wrote, “The government is constantly beating the cover of repeal of Article 370 and the division of the state. But intolerant to the question of opposition to this decision. We have been housebound countless times. Mehbooba also congratulated the political activists and supporters of various parties who had protested against the Centre’s reorganization proposal at various places in Srinagar on Saturday, ignoring the repression.
Political parties outside the Gupkar alliance have also opposed the decision. Sajjad Lone, the leader of the non-aligned People’s Conference, tweeted: “I do not see any reason to hold the leaders captive. If peaceful democratic protests are suppressed in this way, only violent protests will be encouraged. ‘
Jammu and Kashmir Congress president Ghulam Ahmed Mir termed the house arrest as “undemocratic and immoral” and said it was against the country’s democratic norms. The administration has not given any explanation as to why the former chief ministers have been placed under house arrest. The pro-government party in Jammu and Kashmir, formed on the initiative of the BJP, has already opposed the AAP seat reshuffle proposal. Altaf Bukhari, the party’s leader, rejected the offer, saying they could not accept it. Minority rule cannot be allowed to prevail over the majority Muslims.