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news details
In detention, Omar Abdullah killing time with video games, Mehbooba Mufti takes to praying, reading
8/18/2019 11:25:27 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Aug 18: It's been 12 days since the two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir were detained and cut off from the world as the state was put under an extensive lockdown. After National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti were moved to separate locations to keep them from quarrelling, the two leaders have been keeping themselves busy with video games and books.
Abdullah and Mufti were initially lodged at the Hari Niwas Palace, but were later moved to separate locations after the two got into a bitter spat following the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.
The two former chief ministers have been put in subsidiary jail and guesthouses have been converted to house the VIPs. While Omar Abdullah is spending his time playing video games, Mufti is keeping herself busy by praying and reading books.
Omar Abdullah has been a tech savvy politician, keeping a tab on social media with over a million followers. On August 4, before being put under house arrest, he wrote on Twitter, "I believe I'm being placed under house arrest from midnight tonight & the process has already started for other mainstream leaders. No way of knowing if this is true but if it is then I'll see all of you on the other side of whatever is in store. Allah save us".
After the clampdown, he was taken away from the Gupkar residence to Hari Niwas where he asked for video games to kill time. Authorities initially denied his request as most video games require internet. However, Omar said he can play the older versions of these games that do not require internet.
The NC leader is said watching a lot of Hollywood films and working out at the gym. He also goes on a stroll in the palace gardens.
Mehbooba Mufti, on the other hand, spends solitary time at the JKTDC-owned hut at Chashme Shahi with her books.
The two leaders were initially lodged at Hari Niwas Palace but were separated after a verbal spat.
During their stay at the palace, sources said Mehbooba Mufti saw from her room that Omar was taking a walk on the palace grounds. She insisted that she too be allowed to walk. On being denied, a security official said she shouted out to Omar and said that Kashmir was in such a crisis because of the policies of the Abdullah family.
The eyewitness said that Omar retorted and instead blamed Mehbooba Mufti for tying up with BJP to form the previous government. Authorities then decided to keep the two leaders at separate places and Mufti was shifted to Chashme Shahi.
Sources say Mufti's trusted DSP, who was on her security duty, was shunted out after he raised an objection to the room she was allotted.
Meanwhile, NC chief Farooq Abdullah has not been allowed to step out of his house after he walked to a neighbouring hotel recently and he interacted with mediapersons. Mehbooba Mufti's daughter Iltija Mufti has also not been allowed to move out of the house and she has been kicking the doors and shouting to be let out. Recently she had written a scathing letter to Home Minister Amit Shah saying she has been caged like an animal.
Some of the other mainstream political leaders belonging to the NC, PDP and Sajad Lone's People's Conference have been lodged in separate rooms at Centaur Lake View Hotel on the banks of the Dal Lake.
Sources said Sajad Lone demanded food from a five star hotel while authorities met some of the reasonable demands.
At least 700 people, including mainstream politicians, separatists and aides have been locked up in wake of decision to scrap Article 370.
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