21:21 GMT +320 September 2019
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    Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah speaks during a press confrence in Srinagar on August 3, 2019.

    Arrested Kashmiri Leaders Separated After High-Decibel Verbal Duel

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The verbal volleys fired between two former chief ministers of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir who were placed under preventive custody by the Indian government allegedly got so nasty that the two could no longer be housed within earshot of each other.

    On 5 August, Mehbooba Mufti, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief, and Omar Abdullah, the Vice President of the National Conference (NC), were taken into preventive custody. They were housed at the Hari Niwas Palace, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two union territories.

    The two leaders, housed on different floors of the same building, set the Palace abuzz with their heated exchange of barbs over forming an alliance with the BJP government and allowing its entry into Kashmir.

    The arguments were so loud that the Palace's staff could hear their exchanges and mud-slinging, Palace staff told Indian news website the Times of India requesting anonymity.

    "Both accused each other of allowing the BJP into Jammu and Kashmir. At one point, Omar shouted at Mehbooba, taunting her and the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for aligning with the BJP between 2015 and 2018," an official of the hospitality and protocol department at the Palace revealed.

    Mufti allegedly retaliated to Omar Abdullah and reminded him of his father Farooq Abdullah's alliance with Atal Bihari Vajpayee led National Democratic Alliance in 1999. She even told Omar that he was also a junior minister for external affairs in the Vajpayee government.

    The verbal dual continued for some time, forcing the administration to move the two leaders into two separate areas of the Palace.

    Mufti and Abdullah were detained with other leaders of Kashmir, and are being provided food as per the jail menu and their status as reported by officials.

    Earlier, Mufti demanded brown bread, which could not be provided to her as the item is not on the "jail menu".

    The news, however, left netizens extremely amused.


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