- Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah charged under Public Safety Act
- PDP chief has been under detention since August 2019
- Ms Mufti's daughter asked why BJP had formed alliance with her in 2014
A green party flag, being a "Daddy's girl", and tweets on social media - these were some of the points on basis of which the tough Public Security Act was brought in motion against Mehbooba Mufti, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir who has been in detention since August. Citing the accusations against her in a series of tweets, Ms Mufti's daughter Iltija Mufti on Sunday questioned why the BJP had entered an alliance with her in 2014 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had "showered praise" on her publicly.
The 60-year-old former Chief Minister has been in preventive custody since August 5, as the government announced its move to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the state into two union territories. In a six-page government dossier, Mehbooba Mufti has been accused of working with separatists, making anti-national statements and extending support to organisations such as the Jamaat-e-Islamia, which has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The government dossier, Iltija Mufti said, refers to her mother as a "hard headed & scheming person" known for "dangerous & insidious machinations". It also compares her to a "medieval historical figure who usurped power by poisoning her opponents".
"Believe it or not but PSA dossier drafted on instructions of MHA on Ms Mufti, a former J&K CM states the following - 'The subject is referred for her dangerous & insidious machinations & usurping profile & nature as 'Daddy's girl'," another of her tweets read.
Again since Ms Muftis “alleged character” didn't change why did BJP compromise on their ideology? Why did they forego core issues like maintaining status quo on Article 370 in PDP BJPs agenda of alliance? Selective amnesia?— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 9, 2020
In what she called a "point by point rebuttal", Iltija Mufti questioned the government's objection to the green colour of the People's Democratic Party flag. The flag of BJP ally Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United is green and the army too, wears olive uniforms, she pointed out, and asked, "Is a party credible & nationalistic enough only when it's BJPs ally?"
The alliance between the PDP and the BJP, made after the 2014 assembly elections, ended in June 2018. The BJP had pulled the plug after a series of differences that included PDP's promises of talks with separatists, the proposal to remove AFSPA (the Armed Forces' Special Powers Act that gives sweeping powers to the army in insurgency-hit areas), and the Kathua rape case.
The dossier has referred to 12-odd tweets and statements of Mehbooba Mufti, saying they were made with the aim of inciting and dividing people.
The government, Iltija Mufti tweeted, "Has no tolerance for dissent/criticism. Does questioning this governments policies & priorities amount to sedition?"
Dossiers refers to tweets as evidence.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 9, 2020
• tweet questioning BJPs sinister motives in scrapping Article 370 & attributing it to reducing Muslims as second class citizens.
In the case of former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who has also been accused under the Public Safety Act after a six-month preventive custody, the charges include his social media clout and the "ability to garner votes even during peak militancy and poll boycotts". The government, however, did not cite any of his tweets to back up the allegation.
Under the law, the detention of Mr Abdullah and Ms Mufti was to end on February 5, 2020. But on Friday, the Public Safety Act was invoked against both, which extends their detention by three month without trial and can be extended up to a year.