Omar Abdullah's Twitter Clout Behind Tough New Charge: Government Dossier

Omar Abdullah, the dossier accessed by NDTV said, "removed his cover and resorted to dirty politics" after the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped.

Omar Abdullah's Twitter Clout Behind Tough New Charge: Government Dossier

Omar Abdullah, 49, has been in preventive custody since August.

Highlights

  • The dossier says Omar Abdullah favours radical thoughts
  • It also claims the National Conference leader can influence people
  • Omar Abdullah has been under detention since August 5 last year
New Delhi:

Among the charges listed out in a dossier against former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, who has been detained under the stringent Public Safety Act, is his "ability to garner votes even during peak militancy and poll boycotts".

The dossier, accessed by NDTV, says the 49-year-old Vice-President of the National Conference also "favours radical thoughts which he has turned into actions", though it does not cite any evidence to back this claim.

The dossier claims that Omar Abdullah, who has been a former junior foreign minister and commerce minister, can influence people for any cause and specifically cites his ability to bring voters out in the wake of boycott calls by separatists.

"The capacity of the subject to influence people for any cause can be gauged from the fact that he was able to convince his electorate to come out and vote in huge numbers even during peak of militancy and poll boycotts,"  it says.

Mr Abdullah was in preventive detention under Section 107 of the CRPC since August 5, 2019. Under the law, his detention was to end six months later on February 5, 2020.

But on February 5, the government invoked the Public Safety Act against him and another former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. This extends their detention by 3 months without trial and it can be extended for up to one year.

Other charges against Omar Abdullah include his opposition to the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370 and "instigating people on Twitter against the unity and integrity of the Nation". No twitter posts have been cited to back up this allegation.

Ironically, Omar Abdullah's last tweets before his arrest on August 5th 2019 call for peace and calm.

The dossier says the former chief minister is using politics as a cover for planning activities against the union government.

It says "despite the fact that the subject has been a mainstream politician, he has been planning his activities against the Union of India under the guise of politics. And while enjoying the support of gullible masses, he has been successful in execution of such activities".

The dossier says Omar Abdullah "removed his cover and resorted to dirty politics and radical methodology" after the abrogation of 370.

"After revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A, in order to secure support of common people, the subject removed all covers / curtains and while resorting to his dirty politics has adopted a radical methodology by way of instigating general masses against the policies of central government," it added.

However, Mr Abdullah has been in solitary detention since before the abrogation was announced in Parliament on August 5, 2019, so it is not clear how he instigated people after the Article 370 move.

The government has also cited grounds of detention against Omar based on his popularity among people: "The subject is a popular figure among masses and has tremendous potential for diverting energy of common people for any cause".

Under PSA, Omar Abdullah can be detained for three months without a trial. The detention can be extended further if government chooses to slap another PSA on him. Omar Abdullah's father Farooq Abdullah is already detained under the PSA for the last over 5 months.

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