Jailed Mehbooba offers prayers, reads books to beat boredom


SRINAGAR — The holy Quran and some known books like ‘Lost Palace’ and ‘No God But God’ is what former chief minister of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, Mehbooba Mufti reads during her incarceration to beat boredom, her family has revealed.

Iltija Mufti, daughter of Mehbooba Mufti said that her mother was busy in reading books including the holy Quran, offering prayers five times to beat the boredom at make-shift jail at Maulana Azad road here.

She along with dozens of other mainstream leaders including two other former chief ministers—Dr. Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah were put under incarceration on August 5, when the centre abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (Article 370) and bifurcated the erstwhile State into two Union Territories—J&K and Ladakh.

Mehbooba during her ongoing incarceration read many books including holy Quran, Lost Palace by Catherine Bowness, No Good But God by Reza Aslan and books of Elif Shafaq, a Turkish-british novelist, Iltija said, who met her mother ten days ago.

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She said only a few family members including mother, daughters and siblings are being allowed to meet Mehbooba at present.

“Although adequate facilities are being provided to my mother (Mehbooba Mufti) in jail, but after spending six months there without any trial, anyone who is under detention would certainly miss her home and family,” she said, adding that in view of presence of forces in Kashmir, there is as good as curfew here and during these circumstances it should not deter the government to release the incarcerated people.

About her conversation during the meeting with Mehbooba Mufti, she said anyone who is under detention from last six months wonders what is happening outside. “The situation in Kashmir is well known to everyone. The internet is still not working properly. The government actually doesn’t want people to express their pain and agony, therefore the services have been suspended continuously,” she said.

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She added that every Kashmiri is being punished, in case they (government) would have control, they would have even controlled people to breathe.

Asked about Mehbooba’s continuous detention, Iltija said, “It is a banana republic here. Everybody is under the thumb of government. If you see the internet suspension in Assam and other places, the court intervened and services were restored shortly.”

Mehbooba was among the leaders who challenged the abrogation of Article 370 with threatening statements. She had also stated that no one in Kashmir will hold tricolour if Article 370 is tampered with.

However, Iltija while responding to the query said that she doesn’t know whether her mother will stick to her words. “I don’t know what will be her future course of action. Once she is out, she has to chalk out what she has to do. I can’t decide or speak for anyone else including my mother,” she said.

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