Gogoi criticises Centre for slapping PSA on Farooq Abdullah

Guwahati, Sept 17 (PTI) Senior Assam Congress leader Tarun Gogoi Tuesday criticised the Centre slapping the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) on National Conference chairman Farooq Abdullah and called it a blatant misuse of power.
This step by the Centre, which allows authorities to detain an individual for six months without trial, is a threat to the survival of democracy in the country, Gogoi, who is the former Assam chief minister, said in a statement here.
The arrest of the ailing octogenarian Kashmir leader has violated constitutional provisions of liberty and dignity of every citizen of the country, he said.
Abdullah, a three-term chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, five-time parliamentarian and a former union minister, was slapped with the PSA on Monday and his residence at Srinagar was declared a jail. He had been under detention since August 5, the day the Centre abrogated the special status of J&K under Article 370.
“The situation has become so serious that even the Supreme Court had to intervene and ask the Centre to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible,” Gogoi claimed.
The apex court had on Monday asked the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration to make all endeavours to restore normalcy in Kashmir valley as soon as possible.
Gogoi said the mishandling of the situation in J&K has led to further deterioration in the state of affairs in that state as restrictions and curbs on rights and privileges of the people along with detention of political leaders continue.
“This has further alientated the people of Jammu and Kashmir and also provided oxygen to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure his survival,” he claimed.
The abrogation of Article 370 and decision to split the northern most state into two parts – the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh without taking the stakeholders into confidence is contrary to the basic principles of democracy, Gogoi said.
“Such an arbitrary decision in a democratic country like India is not a healthy sign. The BJP government may have got the mandate but it should not misuse its power. It should have taken the opposition parties into confidence,” he said.
“In such a situation, the government should have called for an all-party meeting to discuss threadbare the restoration of normalcy and people of Jammu and Kashmir can enjoy freedom at par with people in other parts of the country,” he added.