New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has hit out at government over the ‘arrest’ of the party’s Jammu and Kashmir chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir and spokesperson Ravinder Sharma. Calling it another ‘body blow’ to democracy by the Narendra Modi-led government, Gandhi said,”I strongly condemn the arrest of our J&K PCC Chief, Shri Ghulam Ahmed Mir and spokesperson, Shri Ravinder Sharma in Jammu today. With this unprovoked action against a national political party, the government has delivered democracy another body blow. When will this madness end?”

Notably, the Congress leaders’ arrest come hours after the state administration announced that restrictions would be lifted and phone lines would be restored from Saturday morning.

Besides Gandhi, the Congress party had also lambasted Modi government over its official Twitter handle. “Our spokesperson in JK Shri Ravinder Sharma was illegally arrested while conducting a press conference. And so was the PCC chief Shri Ghulam Ahmed. We condemn this dictatorial move by the Modi government and demand that they be released immediately,” the Congress tweeted on Friday evening.

“Widespread illegal arrests by the Modi Govt all across J&K shows that the Govt doesn’t care for civil liberties and democratic processes. #StopIllegalArrestsInKashmir,” the party alleged.

Last week, several politicians were arrested as a precautionary measure in Jammu and Kashmir after the government decided to scrap the special status of the Valley under Article 370 and bifurcate it into two Union Territories– J&K and Ladakh. Among the arrested politicians were J&K mainstream leaders and former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.