Farooq Abdullah nominated to 21-member Parliamentary committee on defence

Farooq Abdullah, wife Molly on the terrace of his house Sunday. (AP)

Detained Lok Sabha MP and former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah has been included in the 21-member Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Defence, news agency PTI reported. The 81-year-old was detained under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) at his Srinagar residence on August 5 after the abrogation of Article 370 that grants special status to J&K.

Other committee members include former defence minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar and controversial BJP MP Pragya Thakur. Abdullah's son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah and another ex-chief minister Mehbooba mufti were also detained along with more than 5,000 others across the state. He was slapped with the stringent PSA on September 17 on the eve of a Supreme Court hearing on a habeas corpus pertaining to his detention filed by MDMK leader Vaiko.

The National Conference chief and three-term chief minister has been booked under the 'public order' provision of the PSA under which a person can be kept in jail from three-six months without a trial.

Abdullah, the PSA order stated, "has tremendous potential for creating an environment of public disorder within the district (Srinagar) and other parts of the Valley".

It also accuses him of being a person seen as fanning the emotions of general masses against the country. Ahead of the Parliament winter session, Opposition parties including the Congress demanded that Abdullah be allowed to attend the House proceedings.

Meanwhile, the Congress slammed the Centre for including Pragya Thakur in the defence committee saying the move is “an insult to our nation’s defence forces and to every Indian”.

“Pragya Thakur, a terror accused & Godse fanatic has been nominated by the BJP govt. to be a member of the Parliamentary Panel on Defence. This move is an insult to our nation’s defence forces, to our nation’s esteemed parliamentarians & to every Indian,” Congress tweeted.

The Bhopal MP, who is an accused in the Malegaon blasts case, defeated former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.

She was granted bail by the Bombay High Court on health grounds in April 2017 after charges against her under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act were dropped by the National Investigation Agency. She is currently under trial for multiple charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

with PTI inputs