Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter has released a second voice message saying she has been detained at her home, days after her mother was arrested. Iltija Javed has also written to Home Minister Amit Shah saying she has been “threatened with dire consequences” if she speaks to the media again.
As the lockdown in the Kashmir Valley enters its twelfth day, the top mainstream political leaders remain under arrest. Two former Chief Ministers – Ms Mufti and Omar Abdullah – are among those who have been arrested.
“Today while the rest of the country celebrates India’s Independence Day, Kashmiris have been caged like animals and deprived of basic human rights,” Ms Javed wrote in her letter to Mr Shah. She said she is not informed when visitors are turned away from the gate and that she is not allowed to step out of her home.
In her letter to the Home Minister asking for an explanation for her alleged detention, she said security personnel cited her media interviews as the reason for her detention. “I’ve been threatened with dire consequences if I speak up again,” she wrote.
She also released a voice note as almost all lines of communication with Kashmir have been snapped by the government to prevent a backlash to its decisions – ending Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and splitting it into two union territories.
“I am being treated like a criminal and I am under constant surveillance. I fear for my life along with those Kashmiris who have spoken up,” she said in the audio message. Mehbooba Mufti – who was placed under house arrest around midnight last Sunday along with National Conference leader Omar Abdullah – was arrested and taken from her home in Srinagar to a nearby government guest house the next day.