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Detention without charges worst abomination in democracy: Chidambaram on PSA on Omar, Mehbooba

NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday slammed the government for invoking the Public Safety Act against former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah and said the detention without charges is the worst abomination in a democracy.

Mufti and Abdullah, besides two political stalwarts from the PDP and its arch-rival National Conference, were booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) by the administration on Thursday, officials in the union territory said.

In a series of tweets, Chidambaram said, “Shocked and devastated by the cruel invocation of the Public Safety Act against Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and others”.

“Detention without charges is the worst abomination in a democracy. When unjust laws are passed or unjust laws are invoked, what option do the people have than to protest peacefully?” the former home minister tweeted.

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chidambaram said, “the PM says that protests will lead to anarchy and laws passed by Parliament and legislatures must be obeyed. He has forgotten history and the inspiring examples of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela”.

Unjust laws must be opposed through peaceful resistance and civil disobedience.

That is satyagraha, he added.

Sources said Srinagar Deputy Magistrate Shahid Iqbal Choudhary issued the orders for booking the two former CMs on Thursday evening, barely hours before their six-month-long “preventive detention” was to come to an end.

A magistrate accompanied by a police officer arrived at Hari Nivas where 49-year-old Omar has been detained since August 5.