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Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi Slammed by Minister After Calling for Kashmiri Leader’s Release

New Delhi (Sputnik): On Friday, Indian authorities extended the detention of former state chief Mehbooba Mufti by three months. Mufti, who has been held since 5 August, 2019, when the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was withdrawn, has been detained under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has accused the Indian government of damaging democracy by illegally detaining politicians. His comments came just days after authorities in Jammu and Kashmir extended the detention of former State Chief Mehbooba Mufti.

Demanding the former State Chief Mufti's release from house arrest, Rahul Gandhi tweeted: 

​Government minister Jitendra Singh slammed Gandhi, saying someone should educate him on the infamous history of Gandhi's own family.

Gandhi is the maternal great grandson of India’s first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, and Singh, who comes from Jammu and Kashmir, reminded Gandhi of the detention of Sheikh Abdullah, a Kashmiri politician who played a central role in Jammu and Kashmir politics after India separated from Pakistan in 1947.

Abdullah was reportedly dismissed from the then office of Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir on 9 August, 1953, and imprisoned for nearly 11 years in what became known as the ‘Kashmir conspiracy case'. It was alleged that the top Kashmiri leadership under the guidance of Abdullah was trying to promote secession.

Pt. Nehru, the top Congress leader, was Prime Minister of India at that time.

​On Saturday, a day after Mufti’s detention was extended, another Congress lawmaker P. Chidambaram said that the extension of the detention under the Public Security Act (PSA) was an abuse of law and an assault on the constitutional rights guaranteed to every citizen.   

Over 500 political politicians, including Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah, and Omar Abdullah, have been detained in Jammu and Kashmir since the Indian government abrogated the decades old temporary special status of Kashmir last August.

The decision to detain Mufti was taken after the Indian government feared protests following the government's move to change the constitutional status of Kashmir.  

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