I'm not a free man: Soz

File Photo of Saifuddin Soz

Senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz on Thursday said he continues to be under house arrest here, hitting out at the J&K administration over its stand on the issue in Supreme Court.

Soz said J&K administration has not presented factual position in front of the apex Court by submitting that informing he was “not under detention”.

“I’m not a free man. I continue to be under house arrest at my Humhama residence since August 5 last year,” Soz said.

On Wednesday, J&K administration submitted an affidavit in the apex Court, saying Soz was “neither detained nor under house arrest.”

Following this, the Supreme Court disposed of a habeas corpus petition filed by Mumtaz-un-Nisa Soz, seeking her husband’s release.

Speaking with Greater Kashmir, Soz said he continued to be under house arrest for the past one year, after government of India diluted constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August 2019.

“I have been repeating that I am under house detention but lies were told in the Supreme Court that I am a free man. This government and the Central government have said this to the top court,” Soz said. “It was a bundle of lies which is for the Supreme Court to accept those lies or believe in the fact that I continue to be under detention since August 2019.”

The former J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President said he “stood by his earlier issued statement that abrogation of Article 370 was not acceptable to people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

“I hold the same view today… and continue to be under detention. It is for the Supreme Court to decide what is true and what is untrue,” Soz said.

He said he would approach the court soon to “prove his detention.” Soz said since last year he has left the residence only twice – once for visiting his ailing sister in Delhi and later for seeking a medical advice.

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

Earlier in the day, in a video shot by a television journalist, the senior leader was seen trying to speak with media from inside the perimeter wall of his residence.

In the video, Soz was seen being asked by several policemen to move back inside and being interrupted by the policemen, asking him to move back and then being forcibly taken away while the senior leader kept on shouting “don’t touch me”.

The incident on Thursday in which Soz was disallowed to move out of his residence has drawn sharp reactions.

Taking to Twitter, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wrote: “Soz Sahib’s plight is not unique. @JKNC_ has gone to court because more than 15 of our colleagues are similarly illegally detained & I have no doubt the administration will claim they aren’t detained. As if any of these people would sit at home for a year of their own free will.”