BJP says Abdullah must be arrested

Jammu: The BJP in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday demanded former chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s arrest under the Public Safety Act, a law invoked for terrorists or their sympathisers in the state.

Angered by Abdullah’s comment that India "will go up in flames" if Mohammed Afzal, the prime accused in a 2001 parliament attack, is hanged, the BJP censured him for "inciting communal passions and instigating terrorists to physically harm the judges who announced capital punishment for Afzal".

The BJP held an extraordinary meeting at its state party headquarters Sunday to deliberate upon Abdullah’s comments on Devil’s Advocate, a CNN-IBN programme, wherein he defended Afzal and warned against his execution.

The leaders stated at the meeting, "The National Conference leader has crossed all limits of not only decency but also openly threatened the Indian judicial system, rule of law and democracy."

The meeting also took note of the statements issued by People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed pleading for clemency for Afzal.

The BJP leaders said Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has joined them. "Be it separatists or these leaders, all have fallen in the same line and are certainly a threat to territorial integrity of the country."

Afzal was arrested in December 2001, within days of the Dec 13 assault on the parliament, and handed over to the Delhi Police.

Abdullah, the then chief minister, had advocated severe punishment for the Parliament attackers. However, he later changed his stand.

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