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Our leaders prevented from leaving home for party meeting: PDP

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NC, CPIM, JKAP flay govt for not allowing PDP to meet

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday did not allow several People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leaders to leave their homes for attending a party meeting here, party spokesman said.

“PDP general secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura had convened a meeting of PDP leaders today but the authorities did not allow the leaders who are still under illegal detention to leave their homes,” party spokesman Suhail Bukhari said.

He said this has exposed the “hollow claims” that political leaders were free people in the union territory.

“The lies have been exposed. This proves that they have lied before institutions like the Supreme Court of India,” he added.

Meanwhile senior PDP leader and former education minister Nayeem Akhtar shared a video on social networking sites in which he was seen being stopped by the cops inside the premises of his residence.

“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,” tweeted Akhter.

Similarly another video was shared on the official Twitter account of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti in which another former minister, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura was shown being stopped by the police.

“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”, reads the tweet.

Notably PDP leaders had on Wednesday said that the party has written to the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar and sought permission for participation in the meeting. “The copy of the same has been forwarded to IGP Kashmir, SSP Srinagar, SSP Security and other concerned quarters for seeking permission to take part in the meeting,” party had said.

Expressing dismay over the “stifling of democratic voices” by not allowing a mainstream political party to meet, National Conference said the prolonged curbs and detentions on political parties, and activists is undemocratic and dictatorial.

Flaying the administration for not allowing the PDP to hold a meet, NC spokesperson in a statement said the measure was oppressive and reminds of colonial era tactics of muzzling political voices in J&K.

“Our party colleagues were also denied their right to freedom but our party as a last resort sought legal recourse to provide succor to them. We pursued our case legally and peacefully, and the government on account of the indefensible nature of the detentions had no other option but to release all our detained leaders. The government has no right to deprive a citizen of her/his liberty, even for one moment without the authority of law. We denounce such curbs. Unfortunately the mainstream voice is being caged in the form of gags on PDP’s political activity. We denounce the measure in unequivocal terms,” NC said.

CPIM leader M Y Tarigami condemned the police action to disallow PDP leaders from moving out of their houses for the party meeting.

It has once again exposed the “hollow claims” of the BJP government about normalcy in Kashmir, he said.

“It is highly astonishing that the BJP government is even afraid of allowing a political party to hold a meeting. For more than one year, the BJP government has been lying about normalcy in Kashmir. If that is the case (that there is normalcy), then why were senior leaders of a political party placed under house-arrest and not allowed to meet?” he asked.

“The fact is that the only thing the revocation of Article 370 has achieved so far is a complete abrogation of democracy in J&K and an unconscionable suppression of civil and democratic rights,” he added.

Tarigami said the government must release all party leaders, including PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, without any further delay.

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) senior leader Mohammad Dilawar Mir also denounced the authorities for thwarting the PDP’s planned meeting.

In a statement issued here, Mir termed the police action as highly condemnable and undemocratic.

“Restricting the movement of PDP leaders, who are otherwise free as per the government affidavit submitted in the court, is totally illegal and against democratic spirit of this country. JKAP censures this police action and calls for an immediate end to such illegal and unwanted restrictions on political leaders in J&K,” Mir said.

The JKAP leader observed that putting restrictions on the movement of political leaders and workers and foiling political meetings is fraught with serious implications.

“Instead of imposing autocratic decisions, the government should facilitate an early resumption of the political process in J&K which has already received a huge dent since last year,” Mir remarked.

He also reiterated the JKAP’s demand of immediate release of political detainees including the PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.

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