Over 250 retired officers of the defence forces, IAS, IPS, IFS and the judiciary issued a statement on Thursday calling for former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah’s detention and prosecution for sedition for recent remarks that they said promoted separatism.
Calling themselves a non-partisan group of concerned citizens, they wrote: “Our group is quite disturbed at the manner in which certain vested interests have been continuously trying to misuse the freedom of expression, talk ill about our country and its Constitution, and try to promote separatism. And while doing this, they speak the language of the countries that are hostile to India; and do not hesitate to seek cooperation from them.”
Referring to Ms. Mufti’s recent statement that she would not hoist the National Flag till the flag of Jammu and Kashmir was allowed to be hoisted, the group said she had insulted the Flag and was liable for prosecution under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. She had incited the people of Kashmir to disturb public order.
“The head of the Gupkar Gang, Mr. Abdullah, said that Article 370 will be restored with the help of China … Both Ms. Mufti and Mr. Abdullah have rendered themselves squarely liable to be detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978; and, further, to be prosecuted under Section 124 A of the IPC for sedition,” it said.
The statement was signed by former Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Anil Deo Singh, former ambassadors Lakshmi Puri and Ajay Swarup and former R&AW chief Sanjeev Tripathi, among others.