Freedom of political leaders is as fake as narrative of normalcy: PDP
Srinagar, Sep 3: Authorities Thursday barred Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to attend a party meeting in Kashmir capital Srinagar. PDP meeting was scheduled to held at party headquarters in Srinagar but hours before the scheduled meeting, police informed senior PDP leaders that they were not allowed to move out of their houses.
Various PDP leaders including former minister Nayeem Akhtar posted videos on Twitter showing how policemen on their gates are disallowing them from venturing out from their houses.
Iltija Mufti that operates the twitter handle of her mother Mehbooba Mufti tweeted that government seems afraid of PDP. In a tweet she said: “Why are we the only party that is not being allowed to meet? Why only our leaders are under house detention? Why PSA is extended only against our leader Mehbooba ji,” asked Lone.” It seems the government is afraid of us”.”
She added: “Shameful that J&K admin along with police physically prevented PDP leaders from leaving their homes in Srinagar today. They shamelessly lie to courts that these people are free to move & then have the audacity to detain them illegally at home.”
Iltija further wrote: “Why is PDP being discriminated against? Why are these people being detained unlawfully? Under what law is their detention justified?”
She said BJP and other parties are allowed to hold meetings. “But for some reason, the same freedom isn’t given to PDP. GOI’s claim of setting all political leaders in J&K free is as fake as their narrative of normalcy.”
Nayeem Akhtar too took to twitter and said: “Despite being free on paper and in govt submissions in HC and SC, PDP Leadership continues to be under illegal detention, without any official orders. Video from today – I wasn’t allowed to attend the PDP meeting nor were any of my colleagues.”
Earlier, PDP had said that it’s leader Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura will convene a meeting at party headquarters in Srinagar. “Remains to be seen if J&K admin will allow leaders under illegal house arrest to attend this meeting,” party had said.
Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura told news agency KNT that they were not allowed to meet at one place. He said like him other party leaders were not allowed to move out from their houses.
The party had written to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, IGP Security, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, SSP Srinagar and SSP security informing them about scheduled meeting, however, party leaders said there was no response from any government quarter to their letter.
“Since only the senior leaders are participating, it won’t be a huge gathering and we would ensure that the measures and protocols with regard to Covid-19 pandemic are adhered to,” PDP had written in its letter written on September 1.
Party youth leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra said: “A year of unfreedom & many claims later we were told we are free now. But when we try to attend the first party meet post Aug 5 they told us we are under detention. Question now is how choking our space in the name of law & order is contributing to the so called ‘peace.”
Government of India came under sharp criticism after it foiled PDP meeting. Many non-locals took to twitter and lambasted government for preventing a democratic party to hold a meeting.
Amit Schandillia wrote: “If you’re still having to detain people’s representatives, outlaw democratic conventions, and stifle public expressions, one year since “integration,” what exactly have you achieved”
Nirupama Subramanian wrote: “This is what Kashmir looks like one year later: members of a legitimate political party prevented from meeting, it’s top leader still in jail.”
Former TV Anchor Nidhi Razdan wrote: “No meeting of the PDP has been allowed by the admin in the last 13 months. However, the National Conference was recently allowed to hold party meetings,after the intervention of the High Court. Only the Apni Party and BJP have been holding party meetings without any hindrance.”