Soz Debunks Govt Claims, Says He is Under House Arrest

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Congress leader Prof Saifuddin Soz talking to India Today TV (Screengrab). His attempts to come out were thwarted by policemen. However, he was able to climb the pillar of the gate and spoke to the reporters.

Prof Soz has remained largely homebound since last August when Kashmir was put under military lockdown as the Indian government took away the special constitutional protection under Article 370.

Clarion India

SRINAGAR — In order to back his claim that the government was resorting to falsehood in the Supreme Court about the restrictions on him, Congress leader and former Union Minister Prof Saifuddin Soz on Thursday came near the gate and tried to scale the fencing wall of his home in Friend’s Colony near airport in Srinagar, Kashmir.

Outside the gate, a group of reporters were waiting to interact with the octogenarian leader, a day after the Supreme Court dismissed the petition his wife had filed seeking an end to the restrictions on his movement.

Prof Soz’s attempts to come out were thwarted by policemen who had been deployed at his home. However, he was able to climb the pillar of the gate and spoke to the reporters.

The cops did not open the gates for mediapersons and told them to go back.

He alleged that the government lied to the Supreme Court that “he was a free man”. “I am under house arrest without any formal orders,” he told reporters from over the fence.

He said that the policemen had been ordered from the top to stop him from moving out.

Prof Soz has remained largely homebound since last August when Kashmir was put under military lockdown as the Indian government took away the special constitutional protection under Article 370.

“I take a strong exception to the Government stand before the Supreme Court that I had neither been put under house arrest nor had any restrictions been imposed on me since August 5, 2019! The Government has resorted to falsehood as it had unlawfully incarcerated me since August 5, 2019. All this while, I was not allowed to move out of my premises.” He said.

On Tuesday, during a hearing on his petition, the state counsel told the apex court that Prof Soz “is free and not under detention”.

He said that he had been allowed only twice to leave his house. First when he visited his ailing sister in Delhi on 17 September, 2019 to 21 September, 2019 and next on 15 December, 2019 to 21 December, 2019 for seeking medical advice.

“Whenever, I went out of my premises since August 5, 2019, I had to obtain permission from the government,” he claimed.

He said that he was going to wage the legal battle against the government for his “unlawful house arrest”. He added he would ask for compensation for the “incarceration and illegal suspension of civil liberties”.

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