- Farooq Abdullah contradicted Amit Shah's comment in parliament
- Amit Shah said Mr Abdullah was "neither detained nor arrested"
- Mr Abdullah broke down while talking of centre's Kashmir move
National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah today contradicted Union Home Minister Amit Shah's comment in parliament that he has "neither been detained nor arrested". "I was detained in my house... I feel sad that Home Minister can lie like this," the 81-year-old told NDTV from Srinagar.
Minutes before, during the debate on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill in the Lok Sabha, Amit Shah had said Farooq Abdullah has neither been detained nor arrested. When Nationalist Congress Party leader Supriya Sule pointed out the veteran leader's absence, Amit Shah, who introduced the bill in the lower house, said: "He has neither been detained nor arrested. He is at home by his own will."
"Why would I stay inside my house on my own will when my state is being burnt, when my people are being executed in jails? This is not the India I believe in," said Farooq Abdullah, emotionally describing his emerging to speak to reporters as a "breaking the door". Then he explained how he made it outside. "I told them (the securitymen) that the home minister says I'm not detained. Who are you to detain me?"
"I don't know how many of my securitymen will be dismissed (because of this)," he added.
The exchange in parliament came amid opposition concerns about the mainstream leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, who have been kept in confinement since Sunday evening - hours before the government's move to end special status for the state and bifurcate it into two Union Territories.
Former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, who were initially placed under house arrest, were formally arrested yesterday. There has been no word from the government on when they would be released.
Mr Abdullah broke down while talking of the government's move. "How do you think one would feel when your body is being carved, the body that stood together in all odds, fought every evil unitedly... They divided regions, will they divide hearts too? Will they divide Hindus and Muslims? I thought my India was for all, everyone who believes in secular, unity," he said.
"It is not a small thing that we were given this state. It was not ordinary. It was given by leaders like Nehru. We will sit and take it to logical end. We won't give in," Mr Abdullah said.
Amid a huge security build-up the government has also effected a clampdown on internet and phone services in parts of Jammu and Kashmir. All public meetings and rallies have also been banned.
"What worries me is what must be the ordinary man going through. Locked up, he may not even have medicine, food in his house," Farooq Abdullah said. "I want to leave a message for people of my state and people of India - We have been with you through thick and thin, I hope you will be with us through thick and thin and pray for return of democracy, secularism in our country," he added.