Govt has lied to SC: Saifuddin Soz claims he is under house arrest, Said-‘I am not a free man’
| Thursday | 30th July, 2020
A day after the Jammu and Kashmir administration told the Supreme Court that Saifuddin Soz was not under detention, a News Channel tried to speak to him at his residence. What we found there contradicts the J&K administration`s claim in the court. In an affidavit filed in the SC, the J&K administration has said that there were no restrictions on the movement of Soz, however, when Some News Channel reached his residence they saw the Congress leader being detained inside his house by the police deployed there.
Srinagar: A day after the Jammu and Kashmir administration told the Supreme Court that Saifuddin Soz was not under detention, a News Channel tried to speak to him at his residence. What we found there contradicts the J&K administration`s claim in the court. In an affidavit filed in the SC, the J&K administration has said that there were no restrictions on the movement of Soz, however, when Some News Channel reached his residence they saw the Congress leader being detained inside his house by the police deployed there.
When he tried to step out to speak to the Media, he was not allowed to go out. Later, he climbed the wall of his house and spoke to us, "The government told the Supreme Court that I am a free person but the officials here say that they have orders from higher-ups not to release me. Now, what do I do?" Soz said that he has decided to go to the court again and challenge the `lies` being peddled to the SC. "I have decided to go to the court for what its worth. Lies are being peddled to the SC," Saifuddin Soz said, right before he was forcefully whisked away. The incident was captured on camera. The video shows a cop forcing Soz, the 82-year-old veteran leader, to get down from the wall. The official told India Today TV team to `go away`. From behind the wall, Saifuddin Soz could be heard saying `don`t touch me`, `take your hands off`.
Later, while speaking to TV News Channel, Saifuddin Soz said that he has been under detention since August 5, the day Article 370 was abrogated. "I cannot step outside my house, I cannot meet my daughter, while the government is deceiving the Supreme Court," Soz said. "My constitutional rights are being violated. I am being kept as a prisoner despite being a law-abiding citizen. The government must tell me what I have done to deserve this treatment," the Congress leader said,
In a statement issued to the press, the former Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president said that he has decided to sue the government for his "unlawful" house arrest. "I have decided to sue the government for my unlawful house arrest since August 5, 2019. I will further sue the government for compensation for the incarceration and illegal suspension of civil liberties to which I am entitled under the Constitution," he said.
In an affidavit before the Supreme Court, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had said Soz was "never detained nor under house arrest" and there are "no restrictions on his movement subject to security clearance". The government`s affidavit came in response to a petition by Soz`s wife, seeking her husband`s release from "illegal detention" and to be brought before the court.
After Saifuddin Soz`s statement, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has also raised the issue on social media and demanded the former Union minister`s release. "The illegal detention of political leaders with absolutely no basis damages the fabric of our nation. Mr Soz must be released at once," Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter. Soz has been re-elected numerous times for the Lok Sabha and also served as Union Minister besides being the President of the Jammu & Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee for quite some time. Soz was allegedly put under house arrest after the Centre had abrogated certain provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution which had granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Various other political leaders including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were also put under house detention at that time.
Stay updated with all the Delhi Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.