The Statesman – ‘Detention without charges worst abomination in democracy’: Palaniappan Chidambaram on PSA against J-K leaders

Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti who were under preventive detention for the past six month, were on Thursday night booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) without charges, barely hours before their arrest was to come to an end.

New Delhi – India, 07 February 2020. P Chidambaram, the senior Congress leader 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.”

Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti who were under preventive detention for the past six month, were on Thursday night booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) without charges, barely hours before their arrest was to come to an end.

Taking to Twitter early morning, 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”.

The former home minister further tweeted, “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?”

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.

Several political leaders were picked up from their residences on 05 August last year, the day the Centre had withdrawn the special status given to J-K under Article 370 of the Constitution and divided the state into two Union Territories, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

The two Union Territories came into existence on 31 October last year.

A total of 35 mainstream politicians were moved from the Centaur Hotel on the banks of the Dal Lake to the MLA Hostel on November 18 as Srinagar reeled under harsh winter and the hotel lacked proper heating arrangement.

Meanwhile, the three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, continue to remain under detention and are now facing PSA.

‘Detention without charges worst abomination in democracy’: Chidambaram on PSA against J-K leaders

The Tribune – Dhadrianwale must appear before Takht panel: SGPC

Sangrur – Panjab – India, 06 February 2020. A day after Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale asked the Akalt Takht to act fairly, SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal today advised him to follow the directions of the Takht. He also dared Dhadrianwale to prove that he tried to get cancelled his three-day religious event in Gidriani village of the district.

“If Dhadrianwale has any problem, it can be sorted out through discussions only. He must appear before the committee of the Takht, the supreme body of Sikhs, to clarify things. I do not know why he is not ready to meet committee members,” Longowal said after attending a religious function at Kaimbowal Gurudwara Sahib in Longowal town.

“I have nothing against anyone and if Dhadrianwale has any evidence to prove his allegations that I tried to get his event cancelled, he must share it with the ‘sangat’,” Longowal said.

I suspect the hand of Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhuma behind this
I am no fan of Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale, nor am I a of fan of Harnam Singh Dhuma

Den Haag – Buitenhof – Korte Voorhout

Buitenhof – Korte Voorhout
31 December 2019

Mauritshuis – Museum
After Prince Maurice,
the second ‘Stadhouder’ of the Dutch Republic

Buitenhof – Tram 16 to Statenkwartier

Buitenhof – Tram 16 to Statenkwartier

Korte Voorhout Tram 15 to Noordorp

Korte Voorhout – Tram 15 to Noordorp

Royal Theatre

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Pieter Friedrich – US Consul General David Ranz pays tribute to RSS Paramilitary’s 1st Chief

Calls raised for envoy to India’s resignation after perceived endorsement of RSS

German Ambassador Walter Lindner sparked raging controversy in July 2019 after he visited the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Nagpur, Maharashtra, India and laid flowers at the feet of the paramilitary’s first chief.

“The RSS shares the fascist ideology of the Nazi Party and supports extreme Hindu nationalism,” reported The Jerusalem Post.

“During World War II, RSS leader M S Golwalkar openly admired Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and took inspiration from Adolf Hitler’s ideology of racial purity.” Consequently, thousands signed a petition demanding Ambassador Lindner’s resignation.

Similar controversy has ignited after David Ranz, the US Consul General in Mumbai, paid a similar visit to RSS headquarters on 6 February 2020. Accompanied by RSS-Nagpur President Rajesh Loya, Ranz paid tribute to a statue of RSS’s first chief, K B Hedgewar, by laying flowers at its feet.

Hundreds have signed a petition demanding Ranz’s resignation. The petition insists that Ranz must resign for what is perceived as an endorsement of the “Nazi-inspired RSS paramilitary.”

The petition notes that the RSS was founded the same year that Hitler reformulated the Nazi party and claims Ranz’s visit condones the RSS’s “ideological and institutional inspiration by European fascist movements like those of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.”

Notably, Hedgewar had declared that India is an exclusively Hindu nation. “The Sangh wants to put in reality the words ‘Hindustan of Hindus’,” said Hedgewar. “Hindustan is a country of Hindus.

Like other nations of other people (eg. Germany of Germans), this is a nation of Hindu people.” According to the petition, after an RSS co-founder visited Mussolini in Italy, he described the RSS “under Hedgewar” as a fascist institution of the same kind as those led by Mussolini.

The petition further references writings by M S Golwalkar, the longest-serving RSS chief, which praised Nazi Germany’s “purging” of the Jews. It notes that the RSS has been repeatedly implicated in acts of mass violence against minorities. It also notes that the US’s Central Intelligence Agency has labeled major RSS affiliates as “religious militant organizations.”

The incident comes only a week after a petition requesting the US State Department add the RSS to its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations garnered nearly 9,000 signatures.

The full text of the petition demanding Ranz’s resignation follows:

  • On 6 February 2020, US Consul General David Ranz of the Mumbai consulate visited the K.B. Hedgewar memorial in Nagpur, Maharashtra to pay homage to him as the first chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
  • Ranz’s visit condones the RSS paramilitary as well as its ideological and institutional inspiration by European fascist movements like those of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. Its earliest leaders praised Nazi racial policies and said that Indian Muslims should be treated like German Jews. They demanded that India be declared a Hindu nation and taught that non-Hindus were traitors.
  • The RSS was founded in 1925, the same year that the Nazi party was reformulated with Hitler as its leader. In 1931, RSS co-founder BS Moonje met Mussolini in Rome. After praising the dictator’s fascist youth group, ONB, for its “military regeneration” of Italian youth, Moonje wrote, “India and particularly Hindu India need some such institution for the military regeneration of the Hindus.” He claimed that “the idea of fascism vividly brings out the conception of unity amongst people” and declared: “Our institution of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh of Nagpur under Dr Hedgewar is of this kind.”
  • Hedgewar was RSS chief from 1925–1940. He was succeeded by M.S. Golwalkar. The longest-serving RSS chief, Golwalkar, called it treason for an Indian to convert away from Hinduism or refuse to “glorify the Hindu Race and Nation.” In 1939, he also wrote glowingly in support of Nazi racial policy: “To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races — the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here.” He called this “a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.”
  • The RSS has been repeatedly accused of instigating violence. It has been banned several times, the first time following the assassination of M.K. Gandhi by a former RSS member.
  • In 2002, Human Rights Watch named the RSS and its subsidiaries as the groups responsible for an anti-Muslim pogrom that killed 2,000 in the Indian state of Gujarat. In 2012, Swami Aseemanand, a full-time RSS worker, confessed to orchestrating several terrorist bombings which claimed hundreds of lives from 2006 to 2008. Many other instances of bombings, assassinations, and pogroms have been laid at the feet of the RSS.
  • In 2018, the Central Intelligence Agency listed RSS subsidiaries like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal as “religious militant organizations.” In its June 2019 report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom warned that the RSS’s agenda “to alienate non-Hindus or lower-caste Hindus is a significant contributor to the rise of religious violence and persecution.”
  • The RSS (including its many subsidiaries) has been linked to many other major incidents of anti-minority violence all across India. These include the 1947 Jammu Massacre (20,000+ Muslims killed) and the 1969 Gujarat Riots (400+ Muslims killed) — both of which occurred shortly after visits by Golwalkar. Later RSS-sponsored pogroms include the 1985 Gujarat Riots (hundreds of Muslims killed), the 1987 Meerut Riots in Uttar Pradesh (hundreds of Muslims killed), the 1989 Bhagalpur Riots in Bihar (900+ Muslims killed), the 1992 nationwide riots following the Babri Mosque destruction (2,000+ Muslims killed), the 2002 Gujarat Pogrom (2,000+ Muslims killed), the 2008 Odisha Pogrom (100+ Christians killed), and countless other smaller-scale incidents.
  • The US diplomatic mission in India should have nothing to do with the RSS.
  • Consul General Ranz’s laying of flowers at the feet of RSS chief Hedgewar is widely interpreted as an endorsement of the paramilitary. His action was reckless and prejudicial. He has discredited himself and his office.
  • We, the undersigned, demand that Consul General David Ranz resign or, failing that, be recalled. We demand immediate intervention by President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to achieve this goal.

Pieter Friedrich is a South Asian Affairs Analyst who resides in California. He is the co-author of Captivating the Simple-Hearted: A Struggle for Human Dignity in the Indian Subcontinent. Discover more by him at

The Print – Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti detained under Public Safety Act

Two other leaders, NC’s general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar and senior PDP leader Sartaj Madni, were also detained under the PSA.

Azaan Javaid

Srinagar – Jammu & Kashmir – India, 06 February 2020. Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were detained under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) Thursday night.

Two other leaders of the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were also detained under the Act.

The leaders, NC’s general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar and senior PDP leader Sartaj Madni, were under detention for the last six months. Madni is PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s maternal uncle.

“The two were today (Thursday) shifted from the MLA hostel in Srinagar to a government guest house on Gupkar Road where they are detained under the PSA,” said a senior administration official.

Another official in the administration said Mufti and Abdullah were not shifted as of now. Mufti is still at the government guest house in Lal Chowk, while Abdullah is at Hari Niwas on Gupkar Road.

According to the PSA dossier, Madni was detained under the Act for his alleged role in mobilising anti-social elements to protest against the alleged gang-rape of two Kashmiri women in Shopian. The incident took place back in 2009 when two women, Asiya and Nilofer, were found dead in a river near their village in Shopian.

Madni has also been accused of providing support to separatists in Kashmir and “propagating secession” after the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the dossier stated.

Sagar, meanwhile, was detained under the PSA for speaking against the “Union of India”, the scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35A and informing party workers about the government’s decision on Article 370, according to the dossier.

The dossier also said that “the power of Ali Mohmmad Sagar can be gauged by his capacity to mobilise the electorate” during the height of militancy in Kashmir and by his call to boycott elections in the Valley.

Veteran NC leader Farooq Abdullah is the only mainstream politician against whom the stringent PSA was slapped on 17 September for a period of three months, which was renewed on 16 December last year.

A third official in the J&K administration said review meetings are being held now to take a decision on the fate of the 11 politicians detained at the MLA hostel in Srinagar.

On Wednesday, the administration released People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone and PDP’s Waheed Para, bringing the number of detainees at MLA hostel to 12 from 14.

On Thursday, NC’s Basheer Ahmed Veeri was also released from the hostel and put under house arrest at his residence. Lone and Para, too, are currently under house arrest.

The official said leaders are being released on and off now due to the “improving law and order situation in Kashmir” and because the time period of their preventive custody has lapsed.

The politicians were booked under Section 107 of Code of Criminal Procedure, which allows authorities to put any person under preventive custody for a period of six months if they receives information that the person is likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb public tranquillity.

After completion of six months, it needs to be reviewed if a detainee should be released or kept under detention. In case of Sagar and Madni, the review was done by the authorities and it was decided that PSA be slapped against them, the official added.

Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti detained under Public Safety Act