Strict jail manuals are being followed as former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who are under arrest since August 5, are finding it difficult to spend time under detention, a senior government official told DH.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, Omar, who is vice president of regional National Conference has been provided with some books and computer games by the authorities. “Either he (Omar) reads books or is seen playing games. Sometimes he walks in the small lawn of a government guest house at Cheshmashahi in Srinagar, where he is undergoing detention,” he revealed.
On the contrary, the official said, Mehbooba, who is president of regional PDP, remains quiet most of the times and is spending time without any activity. “So-far no relative or friend has been allowed to meet them and they are being provided food as per the jail manual. Omar’s sister Safia and Mehbooba’s daughter Irtiqa had requested the authorities for a meeting but so far it has not been granted,” he said.
“Initially, both of them were detained at some place, but a few days Omar was shifted to another location,” he added.
The two high profile leaders, along with hundreds of other political activists, were arrested by the police after New Delhi scrapped the special status of the erstwhile state and reorganized it into two union territories. The government apprehends that they may mobilise crowds to protest against the Center’s decision.
Omar’s dad and former Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, is also undergoing house detention at his posh Gupkar residence, here. Sources said senior Abdullah had requested the authorities to allow him to offer Eid-prayers at a nearby shrine on August 12.
“However, he was not allowed to leave and instead asked to offer prayers at home. Senior Abdullah, who underwent a kidney transplant in 2014, is losing his temper frequently during house detention and is being monitored by the doctors constantly,” they said.
Sources said that as of now the government was not in a mood to release any of the detained mainstream leaders. “People in Kashmir are in shock and anger against the Center’s decision. But there is no leader, who can guide them at the moment. While separatists, who used to incite violence all these years are already in jails, the Center fears now regional parties will take a lead to mobilise crowds,” they added.