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Dissent Muzzled: Opposition demands release of 3 ex-J&K chief ministers

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New Delhi, Mar 09: The opposition on Monday attacked the Modi government over the detention of mainstream political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir since the government scrapped the erstwhile state's special status and divided it into two union territories last August.

Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee, HD Deve Gowa, Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Manoj Kumar Jha, Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie have issued a joint statement on Monday in this regard.

Dissent Muzzled: Opposition demands release of 3 ex-J&K chief ministers

The opposition leaders said, "in the government of Shri Narendra Modi, democratic dissent is being muzzled by coercive administrative action, which has threatened the basic ideals of Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity as enshrined in our Constitution".

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    "Nothing exemplifies this more starkly than the continuing detention, on flimsiest of grounds, of three former Chief Ministers of Jammu & Kashmir - Dr Farooq Abdullah, Shri Omar Abdullah and Smt Mehbooba Mufti - for over seven months," it said.

    "There is nothing in the past records of these three leaders to lend credence to the Modi government's false and self-serving claim that they pose a threat to 'public safety' in J&K or that they have endangered national interests with their activities," it further said.

    "Ironically, the BJP itself has allied with all three of them, and their parties, in the past, both at the Centre (with National Conference) and in the state (with People's Democratic Party). The very validity of the Jammu & Kashmir (PSA), 1978 can be challenged following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution as the state has now been stripped off its Special Status."

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