Farooq Abdullah replies to Shashi Tharoor: 'We are not criminals… allow us to attend Parliament'
Senior Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor said he has received a letter from senior National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah in which he has said that “keeping him in sub-jail is not the way how a senior member of Parliament be treated and that they are not criminals”.
Tharoor tweeted Abdullah’s letter, which was a reply of a letter sent to the latter by the Congress leader on October 21, saying the government should allow the MPs to attend the Parliament Session as a matter of parliamentary privilege.
“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 4 democracy and popular sovereignty,” Tharoor tweeted Friday.
In his letter, Farooq wrote, “Dear Shashi, Thank you for your letter of October 21, 2019 which has been delivered to me today by my Magistrate who looks after me while i am in the sub jail. It is most unfortunate that they are not able to deliver me any post in time. I am sure this is not the way to treat a senior member of Parliament and leader of a political party. We are not criminals.”
Letter from imprisoned FarooqSaab. 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 4 democracy&popular sovereignty. pic.twitter.com/xEQ45klWCb
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) December 5, 2019
On November 19, the Opposition had targeted the government over the detention of Abdullah, calling it illegal and demanding that he be allowed to attend House proceedings.
Several political leaders of Kashmir, including Farooq, his son and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and PDP chief and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, have been in detention since August 5 when the government decided to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. The government has said the leaders kept in house arrest as a preventive measure.