Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah were formally detained and taken to a government guest house ‘Hari Niwas’ in Srinagar on Monday night, hours after the Rajya Sabha passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill. The bill seeks to divide the state into two Union Territories — Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir.
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and People’s Conference leaders Sajad Lone and Imran Ansari were also arrested. Mufti and Abdullah are among those placed under house arrest since midnight Monday.
Sources said Mufti was arrested on the orders of the Executive Magistrate in Srinagar and shifted to Hari Niwas guest house. In his order, the First Class Executive Magistrate cited apprehensions of law and order situation and breach of peace and tranquillity in Kashmir.
“Your (Mufti) activities are likely to cause breach of peace keeping into consideration your recent activities that may likely lead to serious law and order situation and breach of peace and tranquillity in Kashmir,” the order said.
It said Mehbooba and her party activists were about to proceed in a procession in public which could threaten law and order. “Keeping into consideration the present situation in Kashmir…I do hereby immediately order your detention,” said the Executive Magistrate. Mehbooba Mufti had described the Modi government’s decision to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution as “the darkest day in Indian democracy”.