Sanjay Raut
Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday hit out at Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah over their recent support for the now abrogated Article 370. In recent days, several political parties in the the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir had banded together to form the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.

The signatories of the Gupkar Declaration include the National Conference, PDP, CPI(M), PC, JKPM & ANC. Formed on October 15, the alliance aims to work towards restoring the special status of J&K after it was revoked in 2019. The abrogation of Article 370, followed by the transformation of the northern state into two union territories had not gone down well with many. Ahead of the move, many of Jammu and Kashmir's political leaders had been placed under a house arrest. Most recently, after about 14 months of detention, Mufti was released in mid-October this year.

Speaking on Saturday, Sanjay Raut said that anyone who spoke about taking aid from China to attack India should be arrested and imprisoned.

"Be it Farooq Abdullah or Mehbooba Mufti, if someone talks about taking China's help to challenge India's constitution, then they should be arrested and sent to Andaman for 10 years," Raut opined.

Without specifically accusing them, he wondered how such people were "roaming free".

This is not the first time that the Shiv Sena leader has hit out at the J&K politicians. Speaking to news agency ANI a few days earlier, he had expressed a similar sentiment, stating that the government should take "strict steps" if Mufti, Abdullah and others wanted to "impose Article 370 in Kashmir with help of China".

Referring to a recent incident in the UT which say protests break out, and police official detain several BJP who were allegedly trying to hoist the national flag, Raut had heaped further criticism on the J&K leaders. "If any person who wants to unfurl tri-colour in Kashmir is stopped, then I consider it as Rashtra droh," he had said.

To give a bit of context, the protests days after Mufti had criticised the abrogation of Article 370, stating that she would hoist the national flag only when the separate flag of the erstwhile state is restored.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal