New Delhi, Aug 16: The government on Friday strongly defended the decision to keep a number of Kashmiri leaders under detention and said this was done, following alert by security agencies as the preventive measures on Article 370 "coincided" with Independence Day and Eid. "The government measures coincided with two important events the Independence Day and Eid. So preventive detention has been done. This was not done just for the sake of it. There were alert from security agencies and hence such a decision was taken," Union Minister from Jammu and Kashmir Jitendra Singh said at a function organised to pay homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his first death anniversary.
In this context, he said the same people who had kept Jan Sangh leader Syama Prasad Mookerjee for 44 days under arrest and Sheikh Abdullah for years are raising questions on detention of leaders such as Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. The detention has been made by the Jammu and Kashmir government. "Such preventive detention used to happen during your time and hence these are happening now also," Singh said. He also ridiculed the opposition parties stance that the government did not consult the 'stakeholders'. Singh said that when Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India, "everyone is a stakeholder, I am a stakeholder, you all are stakeholders. If J&K is a part of India then 130 crore people are stakeholders".(UNI)