Priyanka Gandhi, the Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East, tweeted on Wednesday in support of Kashmiri leaders detained in the state ever since August 5, 209 when the Centre revoked Article 370. With February 5 marking 6 months of the revocation of Article 370, Priyanka Gandhi asked whether India was still a democracy since 2 former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah of the National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party, have been detained without any charges against them for 6 months.

Farooq Abdullah, the National Conference leader and Srinagar MP, is also under detention in Kashmir under the Public Safety Act. Prohibitory orders in Kashmir have been in force since August 5 with internet connectivity and mobile internet being turned active in phases and only for government facilities like hospitals and offices.

The Centre has been at pains in explaining the situation in the Valley after demoting it to a Union Territory in the same move on August 5. Though the Modi government flew in some members of the European Parliament, the decision has been dismissed as pandering to right-wing MEPs. The European Union, on the whole, has been critical of India’s stance in Kashmir. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called upon the government of India to improve the situation in the state given the security blanket there which has prevented genuine political leaders to engage with the people of the now Union Territory.

Similarly, China and Pakistan continue to rib the Indian government over Kashmir at several global forums including the United Nations. Following Turkey and Malaysia’s support to Pakistan, India has had to take several measures to combat what it sees as misinformation. Palm oil was the first casualty in the trade between India and Malaysia as Delhi put a stop to imports from Kuala Lumpur.

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In domestic politics, the Congress has been at the forefront attacking the Modi government on several issues including unemployment, the slump in economic activity and the forcing of the Citizenship Amendment Act as a precursor to the National Register of Citizens nationwide. Thoough the Centre has maintained that there is no such move yet on the NRC, the BJP has not clearly spoken on it.

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