New Delhi: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor late Thursday night tweeted a letter written to him by detained former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, remarking that Members of Parliament (MP) should be allowed to attend the session as a matter of parliamentary privilege.
On his Twitter account, Tharoor wrote: “Letter from imprisoned Farooq Saab. Members of Parliament should be allowed to attend the session as a matter of parliamentary privilege. Otherwise, the tool of arrest can be used to muzzle opposition voices. Participation in Parliament is essential for democracy and popular sovereignty.”
The letter, dated December 2 and written from the National Congress (NC) chief’s official letterhead, acknowledges a letter written by Tharoor to him on October 21, which, Abdullah wrote, was delivered to him ‘today’, i.e December 2, by the magistrate serving him in the Srinagar ‘Sub-Jail.’
“It is most unfortunate that they are not able to deliver my post in time. I’m sure this is not the way to treat a senior MP and leader of a political party,” the letter further stated.
In the all-party meet, held on November 17, a day before the Parliament’s winter session began, several opposition parties had raised the issue of his ‘illegal’ detention and demanded that the NC chief be allowed to attend the House.
Abdullah, the Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar, has been under house arrest since August 5, when the government announced its move to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. His son Omar, also a former Jammu and Kashmir, and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti, another former Chief Minister, are among a host of Valley leaders who were put under house arrest in the wake of the government’s move.
In September, the government revealed that Abdullah had been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA), under which an individual can be detained for up to two years without trial.